FIFA Executive Committee Meeting

Football rules and regulations keep changing every now and then, and it’s all in an effort to make the game a better one. Faking to play a penalty before you eventually kick it is one rule that is being debated upon and could be passed soon. Neymar, Messi and recently, Bonucci are guilty of this. Once you fake a kick, you replay. Some other rules like, no offside position during corners, goalkicks and throw-ins aren’t quite known by many fans. Some also will get confused when the referee or lines man doesn’t give an offside when a player is clearly in such a position after the ball last touched a player from the other team. It doesn’t count too (Remember Vardy’s goal against Wales?). Given how we all want to turn to officials overnight following some funny calls at the Copa America and Euros, here are 5 rules most of us never knew of their existence.

THE LINESMAN CAN ACT AS CENTRE REFEREE

A linesman can’t only raise up flags and help the referee with some decisions, he also has the power to take over from the referee if he’s unable to continue officiating. It’s a legal standing, but we hardly get to see it happen as every referee gets to be tested and certified fit for every game. But don’t be surprised if it happens.

THE CENTRE REFEREE CAN BE SUBSTITUTED

Just like the one above, the referee can be replaced by the 4th official if he’s not able to continue the game for obvious reasons. The assistant ref is always ready to come on and act in his authority if need be. So for every game, there are potential 3 other referees who can take up the main act and direct proceedings. Some football insurance right there.

A LINESMAN CAN GIVE OUT CARDS

We’ve probably never seen it before, but the linesman has his own yellow and red cards hidden somewhere on him, and he can duly issue them. It’s common and general knowledge that the work of the linesman also includes helping to spot fouls the ref couldn’t detect clearly or notice at all, but according to Fifa Rule 6, he can be given the go-ahead by the centre ref to issue cards if need be. There is hardly that need though given the amount of card-issuing-thirsty referees we’ve got out there.

THE COACH IS QUALIFIED TO PLAY FOR HIS TEAM

Who wouldn’t actually like to see this happen? A Conte coming on to replace a fumbling Fabregas during a cracker versus Manchester United, while Jose prepares to send himself on as replacement for Rooney. A coach is part of the squad and match day team, hence he qualifies to play. That’s why coach-players exist. If you feel the need to go kick some balls (literally or figuratively), kit up and throw yourself onto the pitch.

A KEEPER CANNOT ROLL UP HIS LONG SLEEVES NOR PICK THE BALL UP AFTER DROPPING IT

Per adventure a goalie decides to rock a longsleeve for a match, he risks getting a yellow card if he rolls it up to make it short. It’s one of those Fifa rules. So choose your Jersey choice carefully. And if you pick up a ball during play, you must send it out of your box or to your player before you can pick it up again. A card and indirect freekick can be issued if the sacred rule is disobeyed. It’s football, not basketball. You aren’t allowed to drop a ball then pick it up again.

Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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