Home » Rules keepers meeting in Scotland: As a test – two seconds more for the six-second rule?

Rules keepers meeting in Scotland: As a test – two seconds more for the six-second rule?

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Rules keepers meeting in Scotland: As a test – two seconds more for the six-second rule?

As of: February 29, 2024 4:57 p.m

Football’s rule keepers may decide to test a change to the six-second rule: it would then last eight seconds and would be penalized differently for violations.

The members of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) will meet on Saturday (March 2, 2024) in Loch Lomond, Scotland, for their annual general meeting. The IFAB is the body that discusses and decides on the rules of the game in football. In addition to a test procedure for time penalties in higher-class football, the topic is also one for a new implementation of the six-second rule.

Corner kick for violations of the six-second rule?

The six-second rule is intended as a measure against time play and stipulates that the goalkeepers are not allowed to hold the ball in their hands for more than six seconds at a time. There are often discussions among fans that the rule is not consistently enforced.

The catch for referees: restarting the game if the six-second rule is violated is an indirect free kick in the penalty area for the other team. Given the offense, this is a pretty draconian sanction – so it’s also about proportionality. Especially in amateur sports, it is also a challenge for referees to take an indirect free kick in the penalty area alone without assistants.

That’s why the rule keepers will vote on Saturday whether the rule should be implemented differently in a test procedure. The three key points:

Possession of the ball should be lost in the event of an infringement a corner kick or a throw-in change – the indirect free kick in the penalty area would no longer apply. The goalkeepers should take part in the test eight instead of the previous six seconds allowed to hold the ball in their hands. In return, the rule should be enforced more consistently. There should be a new form for “counting” the goalkeepers. The referees should mark the last five seconds with their fingers – as a clear indication against time play.

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Important: All of this is initially just a test; implementation in the regulations is not yet planned.

Referee after video evidence on the stadium microphone – the first countries take part

The test of communicating referees’ decisions based on video evidence via the microphones has been opened to all associations and competitions. This approach is already in use in Portugal and Mexico after FIFA used it in its competitions such as the Women’s World Cup and the Men’s Club World Cup.

UEFA is rather cautious about the issue, while FIFA may also use the approach in future major men’s tournaments such as the 2025 Club World Cup and the 2026 World Cup.

IFAB – what is it?

The rules of football are not set by the world association FIFA, but traditionally by the IFAB, which was founded in 1886 before FIFA. But FIFA has a big say there. FIFA sends four of the eight voting members to the General Assembly, the other four votes are held by the four British associations from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In order to implement a rule change, a three-quarters majority is required at the general meeting. So FIFA can’t enforce anything without the British, and it doesn’t work the other way around either. In most cases, however, agreement is reached in advance anyway.

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