IFAB says new handball law can be used when seasons restart

April 8 – The new handball law that was due to come into effect on June 1 – which would originally have been after the season ends – can be used by leagues whenever the current campaign resumes post-Covid-19.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has contacted the four British football associations (who comprise IFAB with FIFA) to confirm the approved changes to the laws of the game for 2020-21.

This includes using the so-called ‘T-shirt line’ to differentiate between the arm and the shoulder for handball decisions.

“Competitions which have been suspended because of Covid-19 have the option of completing the competition using the Laws of the Game 2019-20 or adopting the Laws of the Game 2020-21,” IFAB was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“Friendly/practice/warm-up matches in preparation for the restart of the competition are permitted to use the version of the Laws that will be used when the competition restarts.”

Handball is one key area where VAR has caused so much consternation but from now on, the point at which the arm stops and the shoulder begins will be written into the laws of the game as the ‘T-shirt line’.

Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson explained the importance of the change at IFAB’s recent meeting, saying “the shoulder itself doesn’t really have an opportunity to make the body bigger whereas the arms do”.

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