"IFAB Introduces New Rules on Goalkeeper Conduct at Penalties After Martinez's Controversial Antics

IFAB amend sections of penalty-kick rules

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the governing body responsible for setting the rules of football, recently released their 2023-24 law changes report, which includes significant rule changes for penalty kicks. Specifically, these changes are outlined in Law 14, known as ‘The Penalty Kick.’

One key modification highlighted in the report is that goalkeepers will no longer be permitted to unfairly distract penalty takers. The new rule emphasizes the importance of respect for the game and the opponent, stating that the goalkeeper must not engage in behavior that fails to demonstrate such respect, including unfairly distracting the kicker.

To provide further clarity, the rule specifies that the defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, facing the kicker, positioned between the goalposts, without making contact with the goalposts, crossbar, or goal net until the ball is kicked. Moreover, the goalkeeper must not engage in any actions that unfairly distract the kicker, such as delaying the penalty kick or touching the goal frame.

These changes are set to come into effect from July 1, 2023, and will impact penalty kicks in football matches worldwide.

Criticisms amidst players and pundits

E. Martínez

The introduction of these new regulations has generated mixed reactions among players and experts in the football community. Emiliano Martinez, the goalkeeper for the Argentine national team known for his antics to distract penalty takers, acknowledged the rule changes and expressed his willingness to adapt. Having already experienced success in saving crucial penalties in tournaments like the Copa America and the World Cup, Martinez noted that he would comply with the modern rules and FIFA’s requirements.

On the other hand, AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan displayed his discontent with the rule changes through a sarcastic tweet. Maignan mocked the potential future rule in 2026, suggesting that goalkeepers would be required to turn their backs to the shot during penalty kicks, with the opposition awarded an indirect freekick if the penalty was saved. This tweet implies his dissatisfaction with the evolving rules.

Ian Wright’s remarks

Additionally, former Arsenal player Ian Wright criticized the rule changes, labeling them as “ridiculous.” Wright’s statement suggests his disagreement with the new regulations surrounding penalty kicks.

As the football community adjusts to these amendments, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the dynamics and strategies employed during penalty kicks in future matches.


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Abdulwaasi Bamgbala, a Nigerian sports journalist and content writer for Football World, specializing in top 5 leagues and European football coverage.

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