Fifa moves to address 'triple punishment' concerns

It has been argued by Michel Platini among others that it is unfair that one infringement within the box can result in a penalty, a red card and an automatic suspension
Fifa has accepted a Uefa request to address the game's controversial 'triple punishment' rule regarding 'professional' fouls in the penalty area.

The directive has been the subject of much debate in recent weeks, after both Manchester City and Arsenal were reduced to 10 men in their recent Champions League last-16 clashes with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, respectively.

Given that the professional fouls in question also resulted in penalties, as well as mandatory suspensions for dismissed duo Martin Demichelis (City) and Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal), it has been argued that teams are effectively being punished three times for a single offence.

Consequently, Fifa has now agreed to review the law relating to the automatic dismissal and suspension of players guilty of committing a 'professional' foul.

"Uefa submitted a proposal to remove the red card given for any offence denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity inside the penalty area," Fifa confirmed in a statement issued after the International Football Association Board's (IFAB) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Zurich on Saturday.

"The IFAB acknowledged that the so-called ‘triple punishment’ has been heavily debated including concerns that, if red cards were to be removed, it would lead to cynical fouls – as was the case under the previous wording of ‘Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct’ in relation to sending off offences.

"It was decided that the advisory panels should consider the matter to analyse how Law 12 might be further clarified."

Fifa also revealed that it was decided that video replays will remain solely available to match officials for deciding whether a goal has been scored.

"The IFAB remains of the view that technology should be allowed only for goal-line incidents, since it is a clear yes or no decision," the statement continued.

"Concerns were raised about video replays slowing the game down or increasing the number of stoppages."