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The International Football Association Board (IFAB). The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (1) Introduction. Football’s success as the global participating and spectator sport is due to the fact that:

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the international football association board ifab 1 introduction
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (1)Introduction
  • Football’s success as the global participating and spectator sport is due to the fact that:

- the game is governed by a set of playing rules, straightforward in their simplicity, universal wherever they are played, which codify the athletic competition of the game.

  • This same combination drives the interest in football of key commercial stakeholders such as broadcasters and sporting apparel companies.
  • The efficient management of the rules of the game has played a critical role not just in the development of football as a participation sport:

- but also in its commercial success, success which then allows football’s various governing bodies to redistribute revenues in solidarity payments to the game’s grassroots.

the international football association board ifab 2 history
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (2)History
  • The governance of the laws of the game of football is the preserve of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), laid out in the Laws of the Game document (FIFA, 2011a).
  • The IFAB was founded in 1886, reflecting the need to codify the rules of the game as this was essential to allow the development of international football.
  • Initially this international competition was amongst the four “home” countries of the United Kingdom – England’s Football Association (FA), the Scottish Football Association (SFA), the Football Association of Wales (FAW), and what is now the Irish Football Association (IFA) in Northern Ireland.
  • On the foundation of FIFA in 1904, it adopted the rules of the IFAB. Today, reflecting its historical roots in the British Isles.
  • The IFAB consists of representatives of the four UK “home” countries and four from FIFA including the FIFA President and General Secretary (FIFA.com, 2011b).
  • A three quarters majority is required for any proposed amendment to the Rules of the Game to be passed.  
the international football association board ifab 3 changes to the laws of the game
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (3)Changes to the Laws of the Game
  • Any national association can submit proposed changes to the rules to the IFAB.
  • Historically the IFAB has utilised its role very conservatively:

- see the History of the Laws of the Game (FIFA.com, 2011c).

  • A example of a successful innovation is the introduction of the no-back pass rule in 1992, which was introduced to penalise overly defensive play.
  • For an example of the format in which proposed amendments should be submitted please view the Agenda document for the 125th meeting of the Board of IFAB (IFAB, March 2011).
the international football association board ifab 4 the additional referees experiment
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (4)The Additional Referees Experiment
  • An experiment with two additional assistant referees was undertaken in the UEFA Europa League in the 2009/2010 season after being endorsed by both FIFA and the IFAB.
  • In July 2010 IFAB approved an extension of the projects to all three of UEFA’s top club competitions the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, and the UEFA Super Cup.
  • The March 2011 meeting of IFAB approved the experiment for the duration of the EURO 2012™ Final Tournament, Poland/Ukraine (UEFA.com, 2011a).
the international football association board ifab 5 goal line technology
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (5)Goal Line Technology
  • Having initially rejected the introduction of goal-line technology (FIFA.com 2010e) at its March 2011 meeting IFAB agreed to one further year of experimentation on possible technologies able to meet IFAB criteria for effectiveness (FIFA.com, 2011d)
  • A final decision on the innovation is expected at the March 2012 meeting of IFAB (BBC Sport, 28th July 2011).
  • A video outlining FIFA’s position on the issue in October 2012 can be viewed at: FIFA.com (12th October, 2011f), Goal Line Techology.
the international football association board ifab 6 goal line technology sepp blatter s assessment
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (6)Goal Line TechnologySeppBlatter’s Assessment
the international football association board ifab 6 advertising on the field of play
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (6)Advertising on the Field of Play
  • A key point to note is that the decisions of IFAB on amending the Laws of the Game can also have other implications.
  • For example, in some other sports, such as rugby union, advertising physically on the field of play is allowed, whereas in football this is banned on the grounds that the football game itself should be sacrosanct, as laid out in Law 1 of the Rules of the Game.
  • The game is seen as being the primary consideration, and this approach distinguishes the governance of football from the more overtly commercial approach adopted in some other sports – Football First, in the words of the first of UEFA’s eleven values (UEFA.com, 2011a).
the international football association board ifab 7 artificial turf
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (7)Artificial Turf
  • Similarly, the Laws of the Game (Law 1, Field of Play) govern the use of artificial playing surfaces in international football competitions:

“Where artificial surfaces are used in either competition matches between representative teams of member associations affiliated to FIFA or international club competition matches, the surface must meet the requirements of the FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf or the International Artificial Turf Standard, unless special dispensation is given by FIFA.”

the international football association board ifab 8 summary
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) (8)Summary
  • In summary, the effective governance and custodianship of the Laws of the Game by IFAB has played a critical role in the successful development of football as the pre-eminent global sport, and the way this governance role is managed has significant commercial implications.
development of international football institutions
Development of International FootballInstitutions
  • 1863 – The Football Association
  • 1886 –International Football Association Board
  • 1904 – FIFA
  • 1913 – FIFA gains representation on IFAB
  • 1916 – CONMEBOL (South America)
  • 1954 – UEFA
ifab reading list
IFAB Reading List
  • BBC Sport (28th July, 2011). Goal line technology decision set for March 2012. BBC Sport.

Retrieved on the 31st October 2011:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14322449.stm

  • FIFA (2011a). Laws of the Game 2011/2012. FIFA.com. Retrieved on the 12th August, 2011, from:

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/generic/81/42/36/lawsofthegame_2011_12e.pdf

  • Fifa.com (2011b). The IFAB: How it works. FIFA.com. Retrieved on the 11th August, 2011, from:

http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/ifab/aboutifab.html

  • FIFA.com (2011c). The History of the Laws of the Game. FIFA.com. Retrieved on the 5th June 2011, from:

http://www.fifa.com/classicfootball/history/law/summary.html

  • FIFA.com (2011d). IFAB Extends Goal-line Technology testing. FIFA.com. Retrieved on the 31st October 2011, from:

http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/ifab/news/newsid=1392782/index.html

  • FIFA.com (2011e). The President. FIFA.com Retrieved on the 25th September. 2011, from:

http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/president/presidentcolumn/newsid=1179851/

  • FIFA.com (12th October, 2011f). Goal Line Technology. FIFA.com. Retrieved on the 31st October 2011, from:

http://www.fifa.com/newscentre/video/video=1526303/index.html

  • IFAB (March 2011). Agenda of the 125th General Meeting of the International Football Association Board. FIFA.com. Retrieved on the 5th June 2011, from:

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/ifab/01/37/65/97/fifa_v03_small.pdf

  • UEFA.com (2011a). Additional assistants set for Euro 2012. UEFA.com. Retrieved on the 31st October 2011.http://www.uefa.com/uefa/footballfirst/matchorganisation/refereeing/news/newsid=1603153.html
  • UEFA.com (2011b). Eleven Values. UeFA.com. Retrieved on the 8th June, 2011, from:

http://www.uefa.com/uefa/elevenvalues/index.html