Friday, July 6, 2012

IFAB makes three unanimous historic decisions

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) convened at the Home of FIFA in Zurich today, 5 July 2012, for a Special Meeting under the chairmanship of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.

The first item on the agenda was goal-line technology (GLT). Following the conclusion of a nine-month test process that began in August 2011, led by EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), the IFAB unanimously decided to approve in principle both companies that took part in Test Phase 2: GoalRef and Hawk-Eye. This approval is subject to a final installation test at each stadium before the systems can be used in “real” football matches, in accordance with the FIFA Quality Programme for GLT.

The IFAB was keen to stress that technology will only be utilised for the goal line and for no other areas of the game.

Revisions to the wording of specific Laws of the Game will now consequently be made, relating to: Law 1 (The Field of Play); Law 2 (The Ball); Law 5 (The Referee); and Law 10 (The Method of Scoring).

The second decision of the IFAB concerned additional assistant referees (AAR) following a two-year experiment in the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and EURO 2012, as well as the AFC President’s Cup and competitions in Brazil, France, Morocco and Qatar.

Following a presentation by the AAR Experiment Coordinator, Donald McVicar, the IFAB again unanimously agreed that the use of two additional assistant referees be approved, acknowledging the support they can provide in officiating football matches.

As a result of this decision, an amendment will be made to the Laws of the Game, with a separate section concerning additional assistant referees. It was also approved that communication equipment be permitted between match officials in the Laws of the Game.

The third main topic for discussion concerned Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment, and specifically the “headscarf”.

The IFAB agreed to unanimously approve – temporarily during a trial period – the wearing of headscarves. The design, colour and material permitted will be defined and confirmed following the IFAB Annual Business Meeting in Glasgow in October.

Currently there is no medical literature concerning injuries as a result of wearing a headscarf, and therefore the decision taken today will be reviewed at the IFAB Annual General Meeting in 2014.

In other matters, the IFAB confirmed that the Annual Business Meeting will further discuss the issue of “triple punishment”, currently detailed in Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct; Sending-off Offences), and also agreed to discuss further how the IFAB can improve consultation with the game.

The decisions concerning the Laws of the Game taken today regarding GLT and AAR by the IFAB will come into effect immediately.

The 127th Annual General Meeting will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland on 1-2 March 2013.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

We have been impressed.

Tuesday, 03 July 2012 17:47
smt china close 3x2
AFC Club and Futsal Director Stuart Ramalingam congratulated Chinese Football Association (CFA) and China Super League (CSL) for the improvement in the clubs not only in the local game but also at the continental level.

Speaking at the end of a Special Mission Team’s inspection visit to China on Sunday, Ramalingam highlighted the progress which had gone beyond the clubs in China.

“We have been impressed by the direction of the CFA and CSL to guide club competitions in China.

“The re-assessment of the Chinese clubs has assured us on the positive growth in the different areas relating to the AFC Champions League criteria.”

The SMT’s work in China concluded with a meeting with the CFA and CSL delegations in CFA’s headquarters in Beijing Sunday morning after travelling to Dalian, Qindao and Shanghai for the inspections.
CFA Vice President and CSL Chairman Yu Hongchen, CFA General Secretary Wei Di and CFA Deputy General Secretary Liu Dianqiu were present during the meeting.

Liu Dianqiu said: “The AFC team showed their support during the inspection. They demonstrated that they did not come here to disqualify but to assist our clubs to meet the criteria.”
During the closing press conference, Ramalingam, Head of the SMT, informed the media of the purpose of the inspection and the process of making decisions afterwards.

“We noticed positive growth,” he said. “Obviously, the CFA has put lots of efforts to attend to their previously weak areas and shown tremendous progress to achieve higher valuation in the ACL slot allocations.”

In 2012, Beijing Guoan, Tianjin Teda and Guangzhou Evergrande were the Chinese representatives in the group stage in the continent's premier club championship with Guangzhou Evergrande advancing to the two-legged quarterfinal matches against Al Itthihad of Saudi Arabia which will start on September 19, the first Chinese club to reach the quarterfinal since 2006.