—- The IFAB’s two advisory panels came together today at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, for a meeting chaired by FIFA’s Deputy Secretary General Zvonimir Boban.

This was the 6th meeting of the panels which were introduced in 2014 with the aim of bringing a wider range of voices into the decision-making process of The IFAB. Today, many new members were introduced representing the six confederations, FIFPro, the World Leagues Forum as well as those appointed by The IFABs and its members (details of panel membership can be found herehttp://theifab.com/structure).


Whilst, on a number of topics, the attendees received updates on the ongoing work of The IFAB (consisting of FIFA and the four British football associations), such as experiments with 4th substitution in Extra Time or Law 12 and the revised wording related to the denial of a goal-scoring opportunity, the main focus was on the play fair! initiative as well as the ongoing experiments with Video Assistant Referees (VARs).


On play fair!, members were asked to share their views on each of the topics in this initiative launched by The IFAB earlier this year. The attendees agreed that play fair! should not intend to change football radically, but focus on main areas for potential improvement, such as behaviour of players, the increase of playing time / reduction of time-wasting as well as making the game fairer and even more attractive. It was the first time the panels discussed the initiative and future meetings will see further deliberations on the various topics.


VARs was the final item on the agenda, where members were presented with the latest updates on the experiment including which competitions are currently using VARs, main challenges and the importance of communication around the use of VARs, in particular to all football stakeholders. The group also listened to some members who are directly involved in the experiments and they shared their key learnings so far. It was agreed that more time must be given to those testing VARs, but that the overall understanding and reaction was increasingly positive.


Furthermore, potential future clarifications and updates on the Laws were presented as well as the development of standardising Electronic Performance & Tracking Systems (EPTS). Discussions were also held in relation to the use of technical equipment and match data and information in the technical area.


The views of the panels will be shared at the Annual Business Meeting which is currently scheduled for 17 December 2017 (in Abu Dhabi, UAE) and will inform the nature of the discussions at that meeting.

Regular updates on the VAR project and other information related to the Laws of the Game can be found at www.TheIFAB.com; the play fair!initiative is detailed on www.play-fair.com.