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VAR to handball: What six things are on the agenda when Arsene Wenger and IFAB meet in Belfast this weekend?


Arsene Wenger will be in Belfast on Saturday

Arsene Wenger will be in Belfast on Saturday

Getty Images for Laureus

Arsene Wenger will be in Belfast on Saturday

The annual general meeting of football's law-making body the International Football Association Board (IFAB) will take place in Belfast on Saturday.

But what will be on the agenda at the Culloden Estate Hotel and Spa?

Here are the areas of the game which the IFAB, consisting of representatives from the English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh football associations plus world governing body FIFA, is set to look at:

Existing laws

Overall reaction and feedback will be given and sought on laws introduced for the 2019-20 season, including the update to the handball law brought in last summer which now means goals scored or created with the use of the hand or the arm will be disallowed.

New laws

The IFAB general assembly is expected to confirm formally that if a penalty is missed when a goalkeeper does not have at least one foot on or above the goal line, it shall not be retaken unless the referee believes the goalkeeper's movement off the line clearly impacted the penalty taker. This guidance was included in an IFAB circular in August last year, so this is effectively a rubber-stamp.


An expert group will present the outcome of its discussions. The trialling of temporary 'concussion substitutes' while a player undergoes a 10-minute assessment period is one option which was looked at by the group, along with a Premier League draft proposal for an additional substitute if a concussion was confirmed or suspected after a three-minute assessment. One or both could go forward for trial next season, but FIFPRO's chief medical officer, Dr Vincent Gouttebarge, is "pessimistic" that the temporary substitute model he favours will be piloted because there were reservations in the group about the model being misused.


The IFAB is hoping to open a debate on ways to reduce mass on-pitch confrontations and improve the game's image at the top level, mindful of the fact that the behaviour of top players is copied.


It is expected that VAR discussions will centre on ways to communicate reviews and decisions more quickly to those watching the game, especially supporters at match venues. It could be that new approaches in this area are trialled next season. Use of pitchside monitors will not be made mandatory.


There will be no change to the offside law at this AGM. It is certain to be discussed, with FIFA's head of global football development Arsene Wenger having proposed recently that a player should be deemed onside if any part of their body that can score a goal is behind or level with the relevant defender. But any law change needs to pass through the conventional IFAB process which involves its football advisory panel and technical advisory panel providing their support and expertise before decisions are passed.

Belfast Telegraph