The International Board retouches the hand rule again

The international body clarifies that not every ball that touches the arm is an offense and explains what is an unnatural position hand.


The International Board, the international body that makes the laws governing football around the world, has met to review and update the rules. On the table were issues such as the interpretation of what is hand, an extra path due to shock and the effects of COVID. The IFAB decided to delay, compared to other years, the entry into force of the new regulation and the approved one will be in force on July 1, so it will not be used in the Eurocup.

Regarding one of the most controversial laws in recent years, that of the hands, they have reintroduced clarifications after numerous complaints from footballers, coaches and managers. "Since the interpretation of the actions by hand has not always been consistent due to incorrect applications of the law, the members confirmed that not every hand / arm touch of a player with the ball is punishable." Regarding the criterion that the hand / arm makes the player's body "abnormally larger", it was confirmed that "the referees should continue to use their judgment to determine the validity of the position of the hand / arm in relation to the player. player's movement in that specific situation ", points out the International Board.

Thus, the criterion for signaling a hand is as follows: it is considered a hand if you deliberately touch the ball with your hand (for example, moving your hand or arm towards the ball); touches the ball with his hand / arm when he has unnaturally enlarged his body (a player is considered to have unnaturally enlarged his body when his hand / arm position is not a consequence of body movement for that specific situation, running the risk of the ball hitting your arm); or if he scores on the opponent's goal immediately even accidentally directly with his hand / arm. An accidental hand leading a teammate to score a goal or have a scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offense.

In addition, the IFAB emphasizes that when drawing offside, it must be taken into account that the upper arm area to the armpit is not an offense and consequently a line must be drawn from that point, since a goal scored with that area yes it would be valid.

Additional change for concussion

The International Board will continue with its studies until August 2022 to see if it adds an additional change in case of concussion of a footballer to protect his physical integrity. They also agreed on the following substitutions: "Regarding the temporary modification of Rule 3, which allows teams to use up to five substitutes in matches of high-level competitions (for club competitions ending on December 31 2021 and national team competitions ending July 31, 2022), members agreed that the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on soccer should remain under review. "

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