The controversial law that has seen goalkeepers cautioned during penalty kicks in the group stage of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup has been suspended ahead of the knockout stage of the competition.
Under the recently introduced procedures – which took effect on June 1 -, goalkeepers are cautioned if they have both of their feet out of their line before a penalty taker kicks the ball, a scenario which has drawn uproar from many fans globally.
Three goalkeepers, including Nigeria’s Chiamaka Nnadozie have so far fallen foul of the law and have consequently been yellow carded but World’s Football governing body FIFA have had their request for the temporary suspension of the law granted by the game’s lawmakers IFAB.
An IFAB statement read on Friday:
“The IFAB Board of Directors today approved a request from FIFA for a temporary dispensation relating to Kicks from the Penalty Mark (KFPM).
“The purpose of the caution (yellow card) is to act as a deterrent to the goalkeeper to not infringe the Laws of the Game, in particular by not encroaching from the goal line before the kick is taken.
“However, in matches where Video Assistant Referees (VARs) are being used, the presence of the VARs acts as an even greater deterrent to goalkeepers as they know that any encroachment will be detected by the VARs if it is not detected by the on-field match officials.
“The IFAB fully supports goalkeepers being penalised for not conforming with the Laws of the Game and gaining an unfair advantage. However, for any KFPM during the knockout stages of the on-going FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France, a temporary dispensation has been given to FIFA from the requirement to caution a goalkeeper who is penalised for an offence which results in a kick being retaken.
“The main reasons for this temporary dispensation include: – the presence of VARs acts as a far greater deterrent than the caution – the presence of VARs greatly increases the likelihood of any offence being detected and, as goalkeepers are likely to face a number of kicks during KFPM, there is a higher risk that a goalkeeper will be sent off for receiving a second caution if already cautioned in normal time, or two cautions during the KFPM – unlike during ‘normal time’, when a sent-off goalkeeper can usually be ‘replaced’ by the team substituting an outfield player for a specialist reserve goalkeeper, substitutions are not allowed in KFPM so an outfield player would have to become the goalkeeper,” wrote IFAB.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons will face Germany on Saturday in the first game of the knockout stage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.