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Feb 4, 2013

'Triple punishment' left off IFAB agenda

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) will not discuss the "triple punishment", which has been criticised by some as being too draconian, when it convenes next month.

The punishment can mean a player who gives away a penalty is sent off and automatically suspended, but critics say a penalty on its own should be sufficient punishment for non-violent fouls.

Franz Beckenbauer led a FIFA working group which suggested replacing the red card with a yellow except in the case of dangerous tackles. The IFAB examined that proposal a year ago, but it is not on the agenda for the meeting in Edinburgh.

However, proposed changes to the drop ball and offside rules, intended to make referring decisions more clear-cut, will be discussed.

FIFA has proposed a change to the wording of the offside rule to make it clear a player is considered to be interfering with play if he challenges an opponent for the ball.

World football's governing body also wants the wording of the rule to make it clear that a player in an offside position is considered to be gaining an advantage if the ball comes to him following a deliberate save by the opposing goalkeeper but not from an opponent "who deliberately plays the ball".

FIFA said the current wording "creates many discussions as it gives too much room for interpretation and is not precise enough".

It has proposed keeping the drop ball rule the same but adding "not touched by another player" to the wording to clarify the meaning of "direct".

The rule sees a goal-kick awarded if the ball is kicked directly into an opponents' goal from a drop ball, while a corner is given if the ball is kicked directly into a player's own goal without being touched by another player.

FIFA said: "The proposed new text will clarify the interpretation of the word "direct" in the context of any player playing the ball more than once and thereafter scoring a goal without the ball being played by any other player.

The board will also review the additional referee's assistants used in matches by the European governing body, UEFA, but not by FIFA.The officials are employed behind the goals in Champions League, Europa League and European Championship matches.

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