Monday, 15 Apr 2024

FIFA Rule Change: An End to Impossible Goalkeeper Goals

Goalkeepers scoring goals is a rare sight in football, but there was one particular type of goal that FIFA decided to put an end to recently. Imagine a goalkeeper throwing the ball into the net of the opposing team for a goal. It may sound unbelievable, but it was actually legal until last month.

Why did FIFA decide to change this rule? How likely was it for a goalkeeper to achieve such a feat? These questions arise, along with the discovery of a video from 2008 showcasing the “longest soccer ball throw” of 82 yards. If this type of goal was permissible before, why didn’t any team sign up the player who achieved it?

According to a spokesperson from the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the governing body responsible for writing the Laws of the Game, the rule change was not prompted by any specific incident. It was simply a necessary revision to ensure consistency and close a logical gap in the rulebook. The IFAB explained that they received inquiries from referees, particularly regarding smaller pitches where it could be more plausible for a goalkeeper to achieve this type of goal.

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The IFAB booklet on the rule changes provides further information, stating that the revision was made to align with the re-wording of the handball rule in Law 12. The concept of a “natural” position of the arm has been replaced by a more objective judgment regarding whether the position of the hand/arm has made the body unnaturally bigger, creating an additional barrier for the ball or opponent outside the normal playing silhouette.

In addition to the goalkeeper rule change, there was another revision regarding handballs that directly affects goal-scoring situations. If a team inadvertently gains possession of the ball with a handball, the resulting goal will not count. This change ensures consistency between field players and goalkeepers, as field players are already prohibited from scoring with their hands.

The IFAB, comprised of FIFA and the governing bodies of football in the United Kingdom, played a vital role in implementing these rule changes. While it may seem inconvenient for goalkeepers, the IFAB’s decision ensures fair play and consistency throughout the game. The revision process was part of their ongoing efforts to refine and clarify the Laws of the Game.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why did FIFA decide to change the rule regarding goalkeepers throwing the ball into the net?
A: FIFA, along with the IFAB, made the rule change to ensure consistency and close a logical gap in the rulebook. Although there were no specific incidents that prompted the change, the IFAB received inquiries from referees, particularly regarding smaller pitches where such goals could be more feasible.

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Q: Will this rule change have any impact on handball rulings for field players?
A: Yes, the rule changes regarding goalkeepers throwing the ball into the net align with the revision of the handball rule in Law 12. The changes aim to introduce a more factual judgment regarding the position of the hand/arm and its impact on creating an unnatural barrier for the ball or opponent.

Conclusion

FIFA, in collaboration with the IFAB, recently implemented a rule change to prevent goalkeepers from scoring by throwing the ball into the net of the opposing team. This revision ensures consistency and logical coherence in the Laws of the Game. The IFAB’s efforts to refine and clarify the rules demonstrate their commitment to fair play and maintaining the integrity of football. Learn more about the official Laws of the Game on the Pesstatsdatabase website.