Laws Of The Game

Applying the Laws

The same Laws apply in every match in every confederation, country, town and village and, apart from the Modifications permitted by The IFAB (see ‘Modifications to the Laws’), the Laws must not be modified or changed, except with the permission of The IFAB.

Those who are educating match officials and other participants, should emphasise that:• referees should apply the Laws within the ‘spirit’ of the game to help produce fair and safe matches• everyone must respect the match officials and their decisions, remembering and respecting that referees are human and will make mistakesPlayers have a major responsibility for the image of the game and the team captain should play an important role in helping to ensure that the Laws and referees’ decisions are respected.

Historically, The IFAB has allowed national football associations (FAs) some flexibility to modify the ‘organisational’ Laws for specific categories of football. However, The IFAB strongly believes that national FAs should now be given more options to modify aspects of the way football is organised if it will benefit football in their own country. How the game is played and refereed should be the same on every football field in the world from the FIFA World Cup™ final to the smallest village.

However, the needs of a country’s domestic football should determine how long the game lasts, how many people can take part and how some unfair behaviour is punished. Consequently, the 131st AGM of The IFAB held in London on 3rd March 2017 unanimously agreed that national FAs (and confederations and FIFA) now have the option to modify all or some of the following organisational areas of the Laws of the Game for football for which they are responsible.

For the latest 2020/2021  Version of The Laws of the Game
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