IFAB set to clarify ‘handball’ definition next week

February 22 – Football’s rule-making body will clarify rules on handball next week by bringing in new wording to reduce “grey areas”, the body’s technical director David Elleray has confirmed.

Whilst the video assistant referee system has grabbed most of the headlines as regards on-the -field controversies in recent months, what is or isn’t deliberate handball continues to confuse and bewilder players and fans.

Now, says Elleray – a former international referee – the new wording is set to be passed at the International FA Board (IFAB) meeting in Aberdeen on March 2.

“The new text will clarify those situations where players can expect contact with the arms to be penalised and where they can expect not to be penalised,” Elleray told the Times.

“It will significantly reduce the grey areas around handball… we will be identifying those areas where non-deliberate contact will be penalised and when it won’t be.”

“There will still be a reference to deliberate handball – there’s never been any discussion about getting rid of that, and any deliberate handball will be penalised in any situation.”

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