World football's governing body sets agenda for future talks on changes to the game's rules, with red cards for denying clear goalscoring opportunities also under consideration
The FIFA Task Force Football 2014 met for the first time today in order to review the game and discuss what the future of soccer could hold.
The main changes that the task force have proposed are allowing extra substitutions and a discussion of the offside rule, in relation to when a player is active, and to increase the number of female coaches and female referees.
The members agreed to debate allowing a fourth substitution in extra time, particularly in the case of youth competitions.
A discussion into the interpretation of the offside rule when it comes to interfering with an opponent, especially when it is not physical interference, was put forward.
The task force also debated over ‘triple punishment’ – where a red card, penalty and suspension is dished out – and agreed that in the case of denying a goalscoring opportunity, the three sanctions should only be for serious fouls.
They proposed reducing sanctions for simple fouls to deny a goalscoring opportunity, suggesting they would be punished only with a yellow card and a penalty.
The next topic for discussion was a general agreement on the need to professionalize refereeing. The group’s task is to come up with concrete solutions in order to further enhance the level of refereeing, and look into opportunities for how to better support referees for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The task force suggested that for FIFA under-17 competitions and below in both the men’s and women’s game, there should be no extra-time after 90 minutes, with a penalty shootout to determine the winner.
Women’s soccer was discussed, and the group was asked to come up with proposals to increase the number of female coaches and referees.