03 March, 2011

Football: 125th anniversary of IFAB; meeting this weekend in Wales:

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International Football Association Board; celebrating 125 years
The body who have ultimate responsibility for law changes in football  have their Annual General Meeting in Cardiff this Saturday. The International Football Association Board comprises football's founding members (the FA's of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). When any football rule is planned to be introduced/changed; the World governing body; FIFA has four votes, whilst the FA, FAW (Wales), SFA (Scotland) and IFA (Northern Ireland) have one vote each. For a rule to be introduced/ammended six votes are required before the rule can be passed; meaning that at least two of the Home Football Associations must approve a rule change before the rule can be changed.
It will be some time before we see chips in footballs
This weekend, IFAB (along with FIFA) will have their AGM in Cardiff. There are a number of issues up for discussion. One of those is the issue of goal-line technology. Football’s law-making body is expected to approve more experiments with goal-line technology systems on Saturday, but there is still a long way to go before any hi-tech device helps a referee make a decision.
A year after goal-line technology was rejected by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the item is back on the agenda following tests carried out at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich under the auspices of the Swiss-based technology research institute EMPA.
 Although all 10 systems trialed failed FIFA’s stringent tests last month, there has been a notable shift in the board’s attitude towards using a hi-tech system.
Sources close to world soccer’s governing body told Reuters all 10 companies which took part in the trials failed to meet FIFA’s criteria, but that does not mean experiments will cease as FIFA is now willing to embrace a system if it can deliver a verdict to the referee within one second.
2010 IFAB/FIFA AGM; FIFA Headquarters Zurich(for World Cup year)
“The results of the tests will be considered by the International Board meeting in Wales and it will decide,” a FIFA spokesman said.
There will be a number of other issues on the agenda on Saturday. Most interesting amongst these is probably the introduction of a "vanishing spray" for referees to use to indicate the distance required (10 yards from the ball) for a defensive wall to stand.
Saturday’s event marks the 125th anniversary of the Board which was put together in 1886 at the behest of the four British associations, 18 years before FIFA was formed. The four Home Football Associations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) have and always will have the final say on any footballing rule changes. The 125th Annual General Meeting will take place at Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales between 4th and 6th March 2011.
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