(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Accidental handballs in the buildup to a teammate scoring will no longer lead to the goal being ruled out after the law was eased on Friday. The move by the International Football Association Board follows irritation in the game about how goals seem to be harshly ruled out since the law was changed two years ago.
“After analyzing everything it was felt this was maybe one step too far,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said. “This was the perception of the public and the perception we had at IFAB. For this reason we amended this regulation. It’s not embarrassing or a climbdown.”
IFAB said an “accidental handball that leads to a teammate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offense.”
On the eve of the virtual meeting, Fulham was denied an equalizer in its English Premier League match against Tottenham when Davinson Sanchez’s clearance hit the hand of Fulham’s Mario Lemina, whose arm was down the side of his body, before Josh Maja netted.
Changes to the laws of the game take effect from July 1, although IFAB said competitions have the flexibility to introduce them sooner. Another thorny spinoff from the introduction of VAR in recent years is how forensic decisions are being taken on offsides with an array of dotted lines being used to assess the position of often blurred body parts.