28 Feb 2009

FIFA rule makers to mull extra refs, sin-bins

2:28 pm on 28 February 2009

FIFA's lawmakers are discussing changes to foootball's rulebook including extra referees, sin-bins for yellow card offences and increasing the number of substitutions during a match.

The International Football Association Board sets the rules for the world's most popular sport and is assessing whether extra linesmen monitoring penalty areas at the end of each pitch can help alert referees to fouls or diving, while avoiding the need to introduce potentially disruptive video replays.

European governing body UEFA will deliver the results of its recent trials at under-age tournaments and international matches in Slovenia, Cyprus and Hungary.

The IFAB will look at the merits of introducing rugby's sin-bin whereby a player booked for a foul is sent to sit on the sidelines for a set amount of time.

The proposal has been made by the Irish Football Association.

Another proposal being considered, from the Scottish FA, is to increase the number of substitutes allowed from three to four when a match goes to extra time.

The IFAB will also consider a plan to extend halftime from 15 to 20 minutes and a clarification of the wording of the offside law.

The new wording relates to the type of incident that arose at a Euro 2008 match in Berne in June when Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy opened the scoring in a 3-0 win but appeared to be offside because Italy defender Christian Panucci was off the pitch.

The goal was correctly awarded by referee Peter Frojdfeldt.

Initially his decision was widely criticised, although he interpreted the law to the letter.

The new wording seeks to erase any doubt that even if the defender leaves the field, he is still "active" as far as offside is concerned.