FIFA Proposes Yellow Card for Denying an Obvious Goal-Scoring Opportunity

FIFA and IFAB (International Football Associations Board) have scheduled a meeting to discuss a new ruling that would downgrade a red card to a yellow for fouls that deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity in the box, among other issues up for review.

Instead of giving a red card and a team losing a player for the remainder of the game and the subsequent game, and then facing a penalty kick, the proposed change would lighten the punishment. The proposal would make the incident less dreadful for the offending team, by just giving a yellow card instead of the red, if the referee awards a penalty kick as well. Players who commit a last-man foul outside of the penalty box could still be vulnerable to seeing red under the rule change, but it would remain without the penalty kick.

The concern is that when a player fouls another player during an obvious goal-scoring opportunity in the penalty box, there is a triple punishment.

  1. A penalty kick is awarded to the opposing team.
  2. The player that performed the foul will be given a red card and sent off the field.
  3. The player will be suspended from the next game.

An additional issue that will be discussed is whether players should be allowed to feint at all during the run-up to take a penalty. The current law is open to interpretation with feinting being permitted unless the referee considers it “an act of unsporting behavior”.

And the issue of the goal-line referees, of having two extra assistant referees behind each goal-line will also be up for discussion.

The IFAB will be meeting March 6, 2010 to discuss the proposal. The IFAB is made up of representatives from each of the United Kingdom’s football associations. Each UK association has one vote and FIFA has four. Any rule change needs a minimum of six votes in favor.

So what do you think about these rule changes? Should a foul in the box during an obvious goal-scoring opportunity only be a yellow? Should players be allowed to feint while taking a penalty kick? Should goal-line referees be used? Leave your comments below.