Controversies this season have made the IFAB annual general meeting more important than many in recent years.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has been locked in talks with English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FAs for an hour longer than expected.
When they finally emerged, they made big announcements …
A large-scale review of the offside law has been announced in response to the “armpit” and “toenail” margins we saw in the Premier League.
“The philosophy of encouraging attacking football must always guide us,” Infantino told talkSPORT.
How was his idea of “daylight” between the attacker and the defender – and Arsène Wenger’s proposal for a nail level with the last defender to classify an attacker on board – received by the rest of the IFAB?
“Very very positively,” he revealed.
Although a requirement for testing means that no change is imminent.
The evaluation of the plans by the IFAB technical director, David Elleray, was interesting.
“You would always give an offside player on the basis of 1 cm,” said the former Premier League referee. “So you’re not going to change the precision. Clean air would be a philosophical change.”
Elleray’s comments came when he and Pierluigi Collina gave a technical briefing to myself and a small number of journalists.
The two men insisted on the use of monitors at the field by the Premier League referees.
“I would be surprised if it stayed as it was next season,” added Elleray. “You have to be prepared for changes.”
The pair said an IFAB global survey of 6,000 matches found that 75 percent of the exams were in the field.
“If we have a country with 60% or 55%, that’s okay,” added Collina. “If it’s zero, it’s a problem.”
Protocols will be developed for trials of concussion substitutes, in response to growing concerns about head injuries.
The IFAB is currently making an active call for the competitions to volunteer for the trials.
The Olympics will almost certainly be involved.
But what type of substitute? The IFAB is open to permanent replacements or to 10-minute replacements. But the FA and the Premier League prefer permanent replacements.
It would be a “free” substitution in addition to the three already authorized.
From what I understand, the “permanent” model allows the opposing team to also receive this fourth substitute, even if none of its players were victims of a concussion.
This would be to offset the advantage of a winning side of new legs.
Carlo Ancelotti expelled after a full-time whistle for confronting the referee with the VAR decision
If you haven’t already seen it, here is the official photo of the IFAB summit…
What it lacks is more striking than what it contains.
“You are right,” said Infantino. “It is wrong not to have at least one wife, or a few here.”
He then proposed conditions for each association to participate in the IFAB AGM with at least one female representative, while stressing that FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura could not be in Belfast.
The FIFA President stressed that geographic diversity had been achieved, with delegates from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe.
Welsh FA CEO Jonathan Ford also highlighted the IFAB football and technical advisory teams.
“There is a good distribution of men and women there. We are truly an organization that believes in inclusiveness. “