IFAB declares a rightful change in new handball law from July 01


The International Football Association Board decides against the offence of an accidental handball which might lead to goals or goal-scoring opportunities.

This rule revises that the accidental handball that a team-mate might have while scoring a goal or having a similar opportunity; what earlier would be considered an offence, now is not. So, Fulham would have gotten their equaliser against Tottenham on Thursday.

new handball law starts from July 1
Fulham’s equaliser would be given according to the change in new handball law

The handball, according to revised rules,is not always by every touch of a player’s hand. If the player’s body becomes ‘unnaturally bigger’, the referees would use their judgement to rule it.

However, it is a handball if a player deliberately obstructs flow of the ball, or moves his hands towards the ball after making their body unnaturally bigger.

IFAB also declared competitions will retain the flexibility of the new handball law to initiate changes before the July 1 date. Engish and Scottish FAs however want to introduce the change from the next season itself.

The new handball law in full

It is a handball offence if a player:

  • deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, for example moving the hand/arm towards the ball;
  • touches the ball with their hand/arm when it has made their body unnaturally bigger. A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalised; or
  • scores in the opponents’ goal:
    • – directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper; or
    • – immediately after the ball has touched their hand/arm, even if accidental.

Accidental handball that leads to a team-mate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offence.


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