Football Association of Malawi (FAM) on Saturday, April 6 conducted refresher courses for referees and super league coaches in all the regions on the new laws of the game.
The purpose of the course was to familiarize the football officials to the revised laws of the game for the 2019/20 football season as issued by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).
IFAB approved that at 133rd Annual General Meeting in Aberdeen, Scotland, on 2nd march 2019, that a number of amendments following a 2-year worldwide experiment.
According to a report from IFAB, the new laws will come into effect on 1st June 2019 but competitions that start before that date have been given a go ahead to start using the laws.
“All changes come into force on 1st June 2019. Competitions starting before that date may apply the changes from the start of their competition, at an agreed point during the competition (e.g after the mid-season break) or may delay them until no later than the start of the next season”, reads part of the report.
FAM Referees Development Officer, Maxwell Mtonga has since urged all referees and Super League Coaches to attend the course saying that the new laws will start applying in the first games of this year’s Super League.
“At the end of the course, the referees will be able to apply the new amended laws. The general public should note that the new laws will be applied as soon as the season kicks off and all referees and Super League coaches must attend this course to avoid confusion once we start implementing the laws” Mtonga said.
In the southern region, the course will be conducted at the Mpira Village Chiwembe, in Simama Hotel in the Central Region and Mzuzu Stadium in the Northern.
Some of the amended laws include:
“The introduction of yellow and red cards for misbehavior by team officials”
A player being substituted leaving the field at the nearest point on the boundary line.
“At a goal kick and free kick for the defending team in their own penalty area, the ball is in play as soon the kick is taken (it can be played before it leaves the penalty area)’
Other changes include: clearer wording for ‘handball’, attacking team players must be at least 1m away from a defensive ‘wall’, the goalkeeper only has to have one foot on the goal line at a penalty kick, and a new dropped ball.