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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 27, 2009

FIFA's International Football Association Board

FIFA's International Football Association Board (IFAB) will discuss on Saturday changes to soccer's rulebook including extra referees, sin-bins for yellow card offences and increasing the number of substitutions.

The IFAB meets annually and sets the rules for soccer worldwide.

History
In 1848, a meeting of private schools in the English city of Cambridge established a set of regulations which later led to a universal set of rules for soccer. 15 years after this meeting, the English Football Association (FA) was established under a banner of 14 official rules.

Who makes the rules?
Founded in 1886, the IFAB is composed of the Football Association (England), Scottish Football Association, Football Association of Wales, Irish Football Association (Northern Ireland) and FIFA.

How many votes are needed to change a rule?
Each British association has one vote each, while FIFA, which represents its 204 other member associations, has four. A three-quarter majority is required for any proposal to be passed.

Why have there been so few changes to the laws?
The IFAB is considered to be a conservative organisation. As guardian of soccer's laws, the IFAB says it "seeks to preserve the original seeds on which the football has blossomed so spectacularly".

What issues will be discussed on Saturday in Belfast?
• The IFAB will assess whether extra linesmen monitoring penalty areas at the end of each pitch can help alert referees to fouls or diving, while avoiding the need to introduce potentially disruptive video replays.
• It will look at the merits of introducing a sin-bin, similar to that of rugby, whereby a player booked for a foul is sent to sit on the sidelines for a set amount of time.
• There is a proposal increasing the amount of substitutes that can be used from three to four when a match goes to extra time.
• The IFAB will also consider a plan to extend halftime from 15 to 20 minutes.
• It will seek to clarify the wording of the offside law in relation to the type of incident that arose at a Euro 2008 match when Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy scored but appeared to be offside because Italy defender Christian Panucci was off the pitch.

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