Handball rules among those amended by International FA Board

Southampton's Mohamed Elyounoussi and Charlie Austin appeal for handball
Image: Southampton's Mohamed Elyounoussi and Charlie Austin appeal for handball

Goals scored or created with the aid of a hand or arm, even if accidental, will be disallowed next season after football's lawmakers approved several changes to the rules.

The International FA Board (IFAB) voted to "fine-tune" some laws at their annual general meeting in Aberdeen on Saturday and among the changes was an attempt to end confusion over "deliberate" contact with the ball.

Aguero handball
Image: Sergio Aguero handles in the build-up to his goal against Arsenal earlier this season

"On the topic of defining handball, a decision was taken by the IFAB to provide a more precise and detailed definition for what constitutes handball, in particular with regard to the occasions when a non-deliberate/accidental handball will be penalised," read an IFAB statement.

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FA chief executive Martin Glenn says changes to the rules of football agreed by the International FA Board in Aberdeen are based around fairness - he also praised the benefits of VAR

"For example, a goal scored directly from the hand/arm (even if accidental) and a player scoring or creating a goal-scoring opportunity after having gained possession/control of the ball from their hand/arm (even if accidental) will no longer be allowed."

In other changes approved by IFAB, substitutes will have to leave the pitch at the nearest goal line or touchline instead of walking to their technical area in a bid to stop time-wasting.

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"Following experiments in different parts of the world, the AGM also approved changes to the Laws of the Game related to a player being substituted having to leave the field of play at the nearest boundary line, yellow and red cards for misconduct by team officials and the ball not having to leave the penalty area at goal kicks and defending team free-kicks in the penalty area," IFAB said.

Players will have to leave the field by the quickest route when substituted from next season
Image: Players will have to leave the field by the quickest route when substituted from next season

"Additional approved law changes included: measures to deal with attacking players causing problems in the defensive 'wall'; changing the dropped ball procedure; giving a dropped ball in certain situations when the ball hits the referee; and the goalkeeper only being required to have one foot on the line at a penalty kick."

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IFAB is comprised of the four home nations, who each have one vote, and the world's governing body FIFA, which has four votes, while rule changes need at least six votes to be approved.

Changes to the laws regarding attacking players in defensive walls have been agreed
Image: Changes to the laws regarding attacking players in defensive walls have been agreed

The law-making body also acknowledged that the introduction of video assistant referees had been a big success.

"Following the historic decision taken a year ago at the 132nd IFAB annual general meeting to approve the use of VARs, the FIFA president Gianni Infantino, in unity with fellow members of the IFAB, expressed their satisfaction with the significant impact and success VAR has had," IFAB added.

LEON, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 02: Diego Montano referee of the match watch the VAR during the fifth round match Leon and Cruz Azul as part of the Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX at Leon Stadium on February 2, 2019 in Leon, Mexico. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images)
Image: IFAB praised the effect VAR has had since it was introduced

"Partly as a result of its success in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, VAR is now an accepted part of football and has brought greater fairness to the game without any significant interruption with reviews on average taking just over a minute once every three games."

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