Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Laws of the Game Revisions, 2020-21

International Football Association Board have announced the changes for the Laws of the Game for the season 2020-21. Decisions will come into force on 1st June 2020
Full document can be found below. 

Fred complains to Michael Mullarkey during the Brazil - Chile game at World Cup 2014
Would the goal ruled out by the Howard Webb's refereeing team stand after 1st June 2020?
IFAB announced a revision to the nature of handling for the 2020-21 season

Summary of changes are as follows:

Law 1 – The Field of Play
•Goalposts and the crossbar may be a combination of the four basic shapes

Law 10 – Determining the Outcome of a Match
•Yellow cards (YCs) and warnings are not carried forward into kicks from the penalty mark (KFPM) •See also changes to Law 14 relating to KFPM

Law 11 – Offside
•Deliberate handball by a defending player is considered ‘deliberate play’ for offside

Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

•the boundary between the shoulder and the arm is defined as the bottom of the armpit (see diagram below)
•‘accidental’ handball by an attacking player (or team-mate) is only penalised if it occurs ‘immediately’ before a goal or clear goal-scoring opportunity

•A goalkeeper can receive a YC or be sent off (RC) for ‘illegally’ touching the ball a second time after a restart (e.g. goal kick, free kick etc.) even if the touch is with the hand/arm
•Any offence (not only a foul) which ‘interferes with or stops a promising attack’ should result in a YC
•A player who fails to respect the 4m required distance at a dropped ball should receive a YC
•If the referee plays advantage or allows a ‘quick’ free kick for an offence which ‘interfered with or stopped a promising attack’, the YC is not issued

Law 14 – The Penalty Kick
•An offence by the goalkeeper is not penalised if a penalty kick misses the goal or rebounds from the goal (without a touch from the goalkeeper) unless the offence clearly affected the kicker
•The goalkeeper is warned for the first offence; it is a YC for any further offence(s)
•The kicker is penalised if the goalkeeper and the kicker offend at exactly the same time

VAR protocol
•Only one ‘TV signal’ is required for a VAR-only review

New handling guidelines from IFAB

Full Document:


  1. I have no information from UEFA / FIFA / big associations on this but I would assume that the 2019-20 season, even if played after 1st June 2020, will be handled following the old LotG. Any information on that topic would be much appreciated!

    1. MLS - which plays over the summer - always keeps the previous season's laws all throughout the year, so that should be the case everywhere.

    2. The leagues etc will have the final say if the new laws come into force mid season. However I would imagine that the new LOTG will start for the seasons 20-21

    3. According to the IFAB Circular, national FAs will have the choice of using either LOG 2019/20 or LOG 2020/21.

    4. Although not mentioned in the summary, there are two other changes that affect practical refereeing. The VAR can now officially give his advice to the referee about the decision. Some VARs probably did it anyway, although until now they were not supposed to. On the other hand, the ARs are not necessarily expected to raise their flag for goalkeeper encroachment at PK and KFPM, but to indicate it according to the pre-match instructions.

    5. The Canadian Premier League (CPL) starts their league in April til October. The league adopted the 2019-20 LOTG law changes earlier than June 1, 2019 in time for the season kickoff of April 26, 2019 so that it would be in line with current IFAB LOTG. Speaking to some people within CSA Referee Group - the intention is the same for the 2020 season once the indefinite suspension is lifted.

  2. Belarus Cup Semifinal
    First Legs

    Wednesday 8th April

    16:30 Slavija Mazyr - BATE Barýsaŭ
    Vitaĺ Sievascjanik - Siarhiej Hidrevič, Siarhiej Firynovič - Jaŭhien Kovaĺ or Siarhiej Krasnikaŭ (both reported by ABFF)

    18:30 Dynama Brest - Šachcior Salihorsk
    Amin Kurhchieli - Viktar Hiecikaŭ, Andrej Hiecikaŭ - Paviel Rudziankoŭ

    1. Any info on League Appointments for the weekend?

    2. I'll type all appointments for the weekend after 16:30 tomorrow when the last appointment (for Monday's game) comes out, but the biggest game of the weekend: FK Minsk - BATE Barýsaŭ will be refereed by Amin Kurhchieli (UEFA 3rd, new FIFA for 2020).

    3. It's seems that Kurgheli is getting a big trust in the start of the season, also we could say about Kulbakov's appointment for potentiolly difficult game Dynama Brest - Isloch

  3. FIFATV matches of the weekend
    Nigeria - Italy:
    Referee: Arturo Brizio Carter (MEX)
    ARs: Ernesto Taibi (ARG), Venancio Zarate Vazquez (PAR)
    4O: Alberto Tejade Noriega (PER)

    France - Argentina:
    Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRN)
    ARs: Reza Sokhandan, Mohammadreza Mansouri (IRN)
    4O: Julio Bascunan (CHI)
    5O: Christian Schiemann (CHI)
    VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
    AVARs: Pawel Gil (POL), Carlos Astroza (CHI), Paolo Valeri (ITA)

    Netherlands - Mexico:
    Referee: Pedro Proenca (POR)
    ARs: Bertinho Cunha, Tiago Trigo (POR)
    4O: Carlos Vera (ECU)
    5O: Byron Romero (ECU)

    1. That France v Argentina game is definitely a good one to watch.

    2. Nigeria - Italy also offered a lot of work for the referee.

    3. Today's match
      Germany - Sweden
      Referee: Cristina Babadac (ROU)
      ARs: Irina Mirt (ROU), Katarzyna Wierzbowska (POL)
      4O: Sonia Denoncourt (CAN)


    Vyšejšaja Liha, Matchday 4


    18:00 Nioman Hrodna - Bielšyna Babrujsk
    Dzmitryj Dzmitryjeŭ - Dzmitryj Zahareĺski, Dzianis Jemiaĺjančykaŭ - Viačaslaŭ Naronski


    13:00 FK Sluck - FK Viciebsk
    Siarhiej Krasnikaŭ - Ivan Spurhiaš, Aliaksiej Jackievič - Jaŭhien Sakaloŭski

    15:00 Tarpieda-BielAZ Žodzina - Enierhietyk-BDU Minsk
    Viktar Šymusik - Aliaksiej Vajciašonak, Aliaksandr Banciejeŭ - Aliaksandr Kalačynski

    17:00 FK Haradzieja - Dynama Minsk
    Siarhiej Sciacuryn - Andrej Hierasimuk, Siarhiej Kasaviec - Michail Tchahaliehaŭ


    14:00 FK Minsk - BATE Barýsaŭ
    Amin Kurhchieli - Viktar Hiecikaŭ, Andrej Hiecikaŭ - Aliaksiej Abialieŭski

    16:00 FK Smaliavičy - Šachcior Salihorsk
    Siarhiej Čystoŭ - Siarhiej Hušča, Anton Ihnaciuk - Zachar Dzihilievič

    18:00 Dynama Brest - FK Islač
    Aliaksiej Kuĺbakoŭ - Dzmitryj Žuk, Aliaksiej Kavalieŭ - Paviel Rudziankoŭ


    16:30 Slavija Mazyr - Ruch Brest
    Paviel Karaniec - Uladzimir Rusak, Paviel Mazura - Mikita Šyjan

    1. Aliaksiej Kuĺbakoŭ in Dynama Brest - FK Islač


  5. I wish you all a Happy Easter !

  6. Upcoming matches on UEFA.tv:
    Bayern Munich - Inter Milan: Pedro Proenca, Tiago Trigo, Ricardo Santos, Duarte Gomes, Joao Ferreira, Carlos Xistra (all POR)
    FC Chelsea - Paris Saint-Germain: Björn Kuipers, Sander van Roekel, Erwin Zeinstra, Angelo Boonmann, Pol van Boekel, Richard Liesveld (all NED)
    AC Fiorentina - Borussia Mönchengladbach: Artur Soares Dias, Rui Tavares, Paulo Soares, Bruno Rodrigues, Tiago Martins, Joao Pinheiro (all POR)
    Germany - Netherlands: Artur Soares Dias, Rui Tavares, Paulo Soares, Hugo Miguel (all POR)
    Denmark - Portugal: Craig Thomson, Alasdair Ross, Derek Rose (all SCO), Viktor Shvetsov (UKR), William Collum, Euan Norris (both SCO)
    Russia - Czech Republic: Anders Frisk, Mikael Nilsson, Sten Samuelsson, Morgan Norman (all SWE)

    1. Thanks Philipp.

      Question for Ukrainian readers - what became of Viktor Shvetsov, FO at EURO 2012?

    2. If i remember correctly, he became a referee observer.

    3. Viktor Shvetsov ia now an UEFA Referee Observer.

    4. Hello, Mikael!
      Shvetsov (1969) ended his career in 2015
      At our national referee site, we can read, he became a referee observer/ from 2019 he’s UEFA Referee observer

      As for me, I understand that our country as a host of UEFA EURO 2012 should have a referee presented at the tournament(even as a FO) but why Shvetsov was chosen?its a puzzle question for me!

    5. Thanks everyone.

      I agree with you Sviat. Serhiy Bojko would have seemed a more logical choice, especially against the background that Collina (head of refereeing at FFU at the time, as I remember) selected him for U21 EURO 2013 while he was in 2nd Cat. Macin Borski, the FO from Poland for EURO 2012, was Elite Development Cat. at the time, if I'm not wrong. I guess they wanted to reward Shvetsov, a long-serving referee; I can't see any other logic behind it.

    6. At the time of the 2013 U21 Euro Boiko was a 1st group referee.

  7. Replies
    1. We don't see the full sequence from when the freekick is given, but based on that clip, my impression:

      1) If by the time the ball has entered the goal the referee had made no signal for the players to "wait for the whistle" and did not blow his whistle in between the time the attacker kicked the ball and the ball entered the goal, in the LotG he must award the goal.

      2) It is tremendously bad management to have not signalled to "wait for the whistle" for a freekick when there has already been a natural stop and the defending team is setting up the wall, which the referee should assist doing, too. Especially considering the position of the freekick, the referee should have been alert to this.

      -> The result is goal scored in a very unsporting way, and a match that would have been inflamed probably to a very large extent. But the call itself to award the goal seems correct.

    2. We are taught to ask the attacking team, whether they want the minimum distance or to take it quickly (if it is no mandatory whistle, e.g. after a card). If they decide for the quick execution, the referee should allow it. So, that could have happened here, so I don't see a big problem with that,...

      ... BUT there is a second ball left to the goalkeeper on the field. For that reason the execution and the goal should not have been allowed.

    3. The only discussion by the defending team, there is a second ball on the Field of Play, and this reaction is correct. Goal must be disallowed

  8. I've got a question.

    How important was José María García-Aranda's job in FIFA?

    1. Marco Antonio Rodríguez tells you in this video, listen around 7'of the video


    2. ChiquiDrácula, a great referee.

    3. Garcia Aranda is a great manager. He's working hard on a new project….excellent.

    4. Garcia Aranda a great referee developer, mentor, motivator and a truly great great leader. All qualities which the current heads of the FIFA Ref Comm lack.

      M.A. Rodriguez, yet another in a long and proud history of great and highly trusted International level Mexican referees. A true referee whose authority and presence on the pitch was unquestionable as was his level of fitness. A by the book disciplinarian whose hand never trembled when cautioning or sending off players.

    5. Welcome back, Sheriff :)

    6. How would you rank and describe the Mexican referees who attended World Cups in the last 30 years: Codesal, Brizio, Archundia, Rodriguez, Ramos?

    7. That's and excellent question which I had to give some serious thought to. In my humble opinion and based on what I personally like to see in referee's. Here it goes.

      1) Arturo Brizio Carter (WC 1994, 1998)
      2) Benito Armando Archundia (WC 2006, 2010)
      3) Felipe Ramos Rizo (WC 2002)
      4) Marco Antonio Rodriguez (WC 2006, 2010, 2014)
      5) Edgardo Codesal Mendez (WC 1990)
      6) Cesar Arturo Ramos Palazuelos (WC 2018)

    8. Brizio Carter: The type of referee who is a total and complete student of the game who is very well versed in the Laws of the Game. With a strong and authoritative personality on the pitch. A referee who was never in awe of a team or a player. Many "big" names (to include Zidane in '98) were correctly sent off by him.

      Archundia: A true natural at this refereeing thing. He made things look so simple on the pitch. Top notch fitness with the type of personality that allowed him to win over the players on the pitch. Not as strict of a disciplinarian as Brizio Carter. However the more I watched him in domestic and international matches. It became clearly apparent that he had two sides to him. He was masterful on the International stage yet he would turn in some really poor performances domestically.

      Ramoz Rizo: Very similar in style to Archundia but a bit more strict disciplinary wise. He had an authoritative approach on the pitch which I particularly liked. Much like Brizio Carter, the name (Thierry Henry & Ronaldinho in 2002) on the back of the jerseys didn't matter when it can time impart discipline. Unfortunately his career was tarnished in 2003 and he was forced to retire prematurely.

      Rodriguez: "Yet another in a long and proud history of great and highly trusted International level Mexican referees. A true referee whose authority and presence on the pitch was unquestionable as was his level of fitness. A by the book disciplinarian whose hand never trembled when cautioning or sending off players." Sadly many will remember him for only moments in his long and illustrious career. Missing the bite by Luis Suarez on Chiellini (Brasil 2014) and showing 2 yellow cards, to two players, at the same time, one in each hand in a Liga MX match.

      5) Unfortunately I've seen very little of Codesal. As he was active when I was quite young. So I have very little to go by. I have watch the 1990 WC Final multiple times. And even though it is a very small sample size. I must say that I very much liked his approach in this match. Final or not, he implemented his authority and disciplinary measures. Much like Heber Lopes did during the 2016 Copa America Final. Neither of these two men veered from "their style" just because it was a Final unlike Webb in 2010.

      6) C.A. Ramos P.: I'll say it openly and honestly. I do not like his style and/or demeanor at all. He is not cut from the same material as those referees who came before him. IMO he was pushed through too fast by all those in the world who control these things. Other than top notch fitness. Which is something that all Liga MX referees have. There is little else I like about this man as a referee. On the pitch he comes off as smug, whinny, and a bit immature. Characteristics that have only gotten worse after attending a World Cup so soon in his career. I was disappointed when Roberto Garcia Orozco was basically tossed aside by all in order to fast track Ramos.

    9. I completely agree with you. Arturo Brizio and Benito Archundia are two of my favourite referees ever. Superb referees.
      Codesal, Ramos Rizo and Marco Rodríguez were grate referees too.
      The worst mexican referee in this list, imo, is César Ramos. García Orozco was a better referee, no doubts. He was the favourite for both 2014 and 2018 world cups, but finally he was out. A pity!

    10. Very colourful descriptions - I like them!

      Regarding Brizio Carter... he was definitely a great referee, who was not afraid to send-off big names, but... he never reached higher than quarter-finals, leaving both his World Cups earlier than expected due to critical errors in Nigeria-Italy (1994) and Netherlands-Argentina (1998). Brizio loved his cards - 7 red cards and 29 yellow cards in only 6 matches!

      Codesal is the Mexican referee who made history by being appointed to a World Cup final in 1990. His final Germany-Argentina was and will be much debated. However, the match that gave him the final was the quarter-final England-Cameroon, where he awarded 3 penalty kicks and showed a top performance.

      On the other hand, without using his red cards as much as Brizio or Codesal, Archundia refereed a World Cup semi-final and a match for third place. He was a naturally-talented referee and I appreciated very much his balanced approach.

      Rodriguez who was inspired (as he said many times) by Codesal's final, had a rare luck in 2006, when he replaced another Concacaf referee who failed the fitness test (same as Medina Cantalejo replaced Mejuto Gonzalez). Being young enough, he was given two other World Cups and ended his career with a semi-final.

      I do not know much about Rizo... what happened in 2003?

      As you said, Ramos is completely different than his predecessors and did not impress much in 2018.

      Based on their World Cup performances, my ranking would be 1. Codesal, 2. Archundia, 3. Rodriguez, 4. Brizio, 5. Rizo, 6. Ramos.

    11. In regards to Ramos Rizo in 2003


      It's in Spanish, simply translate to your mother tongue if you're interested in reading the entire article.

      To quickly summarize it. Ramos Rizo was suspected of being part of "match fixing". Unproven to this day.

      Also telephone calls were secretly recorded, in which he offended some of his colleagues and the head of the Referee Commission, Edgardo Codesal, for which he was suspended for two months.

    12. I agree in that Brizio Carter sending off of Gianfranco Zola in '94 wrong. But I can see and understand why Brizio Carter showed Red. You must remember that in that World Cup, the Ref Comm had made a concerted effort to stamp out the vicious and violent type of play that had marred the early 90's. With a special emphasis on tackles from behind being Red Cards. Also at that time often simply "attempting to" was punished just the same as if the act actually made contact. So in Zola's case. He's just gone down softly trying to earn a cheap PK. Brizio Carter correctly plays on and gestures for Zola to stand up. Zola then aggressively pursues the Nigerian player and lunges in strongly in a stamping manner. Add these things up and I understand the Red Card even though there was absolutely no contact. One must also acknowledge that matches were officiated in a much different manner then.

      In regards to the 1998 Argentina v Netherlands. I don't see the "critical errors" that you mention. Arthur Numan (NED) was correctly sent off for two very similar cautionable offenses. Ariel Ortega was also IMO correctly sent off. First being cautioned for a blatant dive. Followed by a straight Red Card for Violent Conduct for headbutting Edwin van der Sar. Those are the two big talking point that stick out to me from the match. Are there other things I may have missed?

  9. Whats the scoop with Belorussian Referee Appointments?