FIFA PRESIDENT : We have taken a historic decision

The International Football Assocation Board (IFAB) convened in Cardiff for its 130th Annual General Meeting, with topics from video assistant referees (VARs) to the so-called ‘triple punishment’ of a red card, penalty and ban for denying a goalscoring on the agenda.

Also up for discussion was the use of a fourth substitution during extra time and the use of sin bins in youth football. Following several hours of discussion, the findings of the panel were relayed in a press conference. Naijabet

Gianni Infantino, FIFA President:
Today we have taken a historic decision for football. IFAB and FIFA are now leading the debate and not stopping the debate. We have shown that we are listening to the fans, to the players, to football and we are applying common sense. Of course, we have to be cautious and we are, but we are also open to looking at the matters and take concrete steps forward to show that a new era has started not only in FIFA but also in IFAB.

I think we cannot close our eyes to the future, to technology. They are big tests that we are doing here and we have to be very careful when it comes to protecting the game of football and the flow of the game is crucial. We have to see what kind of impact video technology will have on the flow of the game which we can never put in danger. In order to be able to have serious discussions about these matters we need to test it. We need to look at it and then we will be able to take a decision on whether it is the right thing for football or not. We have to be open to tests and leading the discussion.

On the two year trial for the ‘triple punishment’ Law 12 alteration:
If the goalkeeper or defender in the penalty area genuinely and honestly tries to challenge for the ball then there will not be a red card any more, only a yellow card. For other instances, violent play or pulling or pushing which has nothing to do with getting the ball, there will still be a red card and a penalty. It will come into effect on 1 June, for UEFA EURO 2016 and the Copa America Centenario it will already be in effect.

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