Handball rule to be discussed by lawmakers next week

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Football’s lawmakers will discuss the controversial handball rule when they gather for a virtual conference next week.

The agenda for the next meeting of the technical and football advisory panels of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) does not explicitly mention handball, but it is understood it will be talked about on November 23.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin wrote to his FIFA counterpart Gianni Infantino last month asking that IFAB look again at the law, which was changed in 2019 in a bid to make it less subjective.

Ceferin said there was growing frustration and discomfort within football over the law changes and how they were being applied.

Handball could be discussed as part of the summary of law changes made for the 2020/21 season.

At IFAB’s 2020 annual general meeting in February, clarification on the 2019 changes was provided over which part of the arm represented handball, and which should not be given as handball.

IFAB’s panels may propose further clarification on the handball law for the 2021/22 season.

The panels will also consider the temporary dispensation to increase the number of substitutes allowed to a maximum of five, and whether it would be helpful to further extend this beyond 2021 to assist teams and competitions managing a congested and delayed schedule as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Proposals around the offside law will also be considered, after video assistant referee (VAR) technology inevitably led to increasingly marginal decisions.

RELATED STORY: FIFA asked to review handball rule

By Ofhani Munyai

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