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22nd Jun 2019

Penalty rules changed halfway through Women’s World Cup

Wayne Farry

women's world cup

The change comes after a number of controversial incidents regarding penalties at the World Cup

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has announced a change to rules surrounding penalties halfway through the Women’s World Cup after a number of high-profile and controversial incidents.

A statement published on IFAB’s website stated that the rule change would come about as a “temporary dispensation”.

“The IFAB Board of Directors today approved a request from FIFA for a temporary dispensation relating to Kicks from the Penalty Mark (KFPM) in Law 10 – Determining the Outcome of a Match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019,” read the statement.

Their reason for the rule change was as follows:

– the presence of VARs acts as a far greater deterrent than the caution.

– the presence of VARs greatly increases the likelihood of any offence being detected and, as goalkeepers are likely to face a number of kicks during KFPM, there is a higher risk that a goalkeeper will be sent off for receiving a second caution if already cautioned in normal time, or two cautions during the KFPM.

– unlike during ‘normal time’, when a sent-off goalkeeper can usually be ‘replaced’ by the team substituting an outfield player for a specialist reserve goalkeeper, substitutions are not allowed in KFPM so an outfield player would have to become the goalkeeper.

The statement follows a number of incidents in which goalkeepers were booked and penalties retaken after they were deemed to have stepped off their lines as penalty kicks were being taken.

This led – in one case – to Scotland’s goalkeeper Lee Alexander being booked during her team’s 3-3 draw with Argentina, before the South Americans were allowed to retake a penalty which was scored and would ultimately eliminate the Scots from the competition.