LONDON: Significant steps closer to the introduction of not only goal-line technology but the hijab are on the agenda for what promises to be one of the closely-followed annual meetings of the law-controlling Intrnational Football Board in years.

This takes place to the west of London at Bagshot in Surrey on Saturday, March 3.

The venue for the IFAB annual meeting rotates between the five members: the Football Association, the FA’s of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales plus FIFA. The British home associations each have one vote and FIFA, representing the worldwide game, has four votes. Any decisions must be taken with a three-quarters majority.

On the agenda this time around are eight proposals and amendments to the Laws of the Game. These include a proposal for a fourth substitution to be allowed for matches that go into extra time; a new text to clarify what action the referee should take if a dropped ball is kicked directly into an opponents’ goal; and a new text to tackle the so-called ‘double jeopardy’ punishment of a penalty plus a red card award, following a  recommendation by the FIFA Task Force Football 2014.

Currently a penalty-kick, expulsion, and player suspension are the three sanctions for a player who denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by an offence punishable, according to Law 12, in the penalty area.

Greatest focus will be discussion is an update on the goal-line technology testing. The independent test institute EMPA will provide a report on the first test phase held between November and December 2011 with eight GLT companies, as well as outlining the procedures for Phase 2 scheduled between March and June 2012.

Board members will be asked to confirm the date of a special meeting of the IFAB as July2 where a definitive decision on the future of goal-line technology and additional assistant (goal-line) referees will be taken.

A discussion regarding the hijab following a positive football seminar in Amman in October 2011, and more information regarding the use of Vanishing Spray by referees at the CONMEBOL 2011 Copa America – to mark out the 9.15m (10 yards) where defending teams have to stand for a free-kick – are also on the agenda.

The introduction of the hijab is a cause championed by Prince Ali of Jordan, youngest and one of the newest members of the FIFA executive committee.