Application Of FIFA New Rule Will Not Be Immediate, Says NRA Publicity Secretary (AUDIO)

Changes to the Laws of the Game approved at the 133rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) will come into effect in Nigeria at the start of the 2019/2020 season with Nigerian referees expected to be fully brought up to speed by FIFA and CAF Instructors before the start of next season.

National Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) Kelechi Mejuobi told that all football referees in the country will be instructed about the new changes at the annual FIFA member association course in May.

“By May this year, we have our normal FIFA member association course. That FIFA member association course is handled by CAF referee instructors for any referee in Nigeria, FIFA referee in Nigeria as well as Premier League referees.

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“And also there is another high-intensity FIFA course for instructors drawn from the 37 councils in Nigeria. We have lectures on [the new laws], we have capacity building workshops, we have FIFA instructors they will come and teach us that and all these things are geared towards improving on the level of knowledge of the Laws of the Game. The only thing is for us by next football season to adapt to it.”

Football rule-making body IFAB which is made up of FIFA and the Football Associations of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland met recently in Scotland to fine-tune some of football’s more complicated Laws for the benefit of the game.

Some decisions reached at the meeting include the outlawing of any goal scored with the hand/arm (even if accidental) and any advantage gained by an attacking player who scores or creates a goal-scoring chance after gaining possession or control of the ball with the hand/arm (even if accidental).

Additional approved Law changes included substituted players being able to leave the pitch at the nearest boundary line, yellow and red card for misconduct by team officials and players being able to receive balls from goal-kicks and free-kicks inside the penalty area.