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Penalty punishment rule temporarily changed for shootouts in Women's World Cup

Updated: Jul 9, 2019


Goalkeepers will not be booked for encroaching off their line during a penalty shoot-out during the knockout rounds of the tournament in France

Women's World Cup goalkeepers will not be booked if they move off their line during a penalty shoot-out, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has confirmed.

The new ruling, which sees a penalty retaken if a goalkeeper does not keep two feet on the goal line, has been tested during the tournament in France.

It has caused controversy, with the use of VAR meaning goalkeepers have been penalised, and then booked, for moving a matter of inches only moments before spot-kicks have been taken.

Scotland's Lee Alexander was the latest culprit, with her slight encroachment costing Shelley Kerr's side a place in the knockout rounds when Argentina fought back to draw 3-3 on Wednesday.

The rule has drawn much criticism, though, with England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley among those to speak out against it, and the Premier League confirmed VAR will not be used to check for such an offence by goalkeepers next term.

And while the IFAB stands by the new law, the body approved FIFA's request to stop an automatic yellow card being issued to the goalkeepers should they break the rule during a penalty shoot-out.

"The IFAB board of directors today approved a request from FIFA for a temporary dispensation relating to Kicks from the Penalty Mark (KFPM) in Law 10 – Determining the Outcome of a Match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019," a statement read.

"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 ongoing 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."

Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA's refereeing committee, meanwhile, feels the implementation of the new rule has been correct.

"We discussed this matter with players and coaches and eventually decided to help goalkeepers by allowing them to have only one foot on the goal line instead of two," Collina said.

"Since that change their job is definitely easier than before, and it is also easier for them to respect the current law than the previous version. Then, if a law exists, referees must enforce it.

"For factual decisions, the number of centimetres doesn't matter. If a ball is over the goal line by few centimetres, a goal must be still awarded. And if a foul is committed within the penalty area by few centimetres, a penalty kick must be given."

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