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121st Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board

Criteria for goal-line technology tests

As its meetings in Manchester on 3 March, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the guardians of the Laws of the Game, laid down criteria for all future experiments involving goal-line technology. And proposed system seeking IFAB approval must meet the following four requirements:
• The technology applies only to goal-line technology;
• The system must be 100% accurate;
• Confirmation of whether or not the whole ball has crossed the line must be instantaneous between the system and the referee;
• The signal is communicated only to the match officials.
The IFAB also received a presentation from adidas / Cairos and the FA Premier League on two different systems. Other items discussed were:
• It was decided that the next IFAB sub-committee meeting would decide on a standard procedure for dealing with injured players.
• The IFAB stressed that any pitch-side monitors must not be visible from the technical areas.
• As FIFA has raised the issue of players intentionally using their elbows and had presented guidance to referees ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup TM, it was accepted that these guidelines should now be uniformly applied.
• Artificial pitches must be green in color. This will now be integrated into the FIFA Quality Concept.
• A protocol for referees’ communication systems was established; specifying that the system should only link the match officials, and that communication between the match officials is neither broadcast nor recorded.

The IFAB also approved amendments to the wording of the Laws of the Game in the following areas:
• There shall be no advertising of any kind on the ground in the technical area.
• Any undergarments must be of the same main color as the player’s kit.
• Players’ equipment must not carry any political, religious or personal statements.
A reserve assistant referee may be appointed under competition rules, but he will only be involved if one of the assistant referees is unable to continue.
A player may not celebrate a goal by covering his head or face with a mask or similar item.
Finally, the following issues were discussed under “Any Other Business”:
• FIFA’s proposal of two additional assistant referees was referred to the IFAB sub-committee for further deliberation.
• The wearing of a hijab is already covered by Law 4, “The Players’ Equipment”.

The IFAB is composed of representatives from the football associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Irelands as well as FIFA. The four British associations have one vote apiece, while FIFA, representing its 203 other members, has four votes, with any proposal requiring a three-quarter majority (i.e. six of the eight votes) in order to be passed.