May decision on five officials

The IFAB will meet on 17 and 18 May to take a final decision on the experiment involving two additional assistant referees, and has concluded that goal-line technology will not be pursued.

May decision on five officials
May decision on five officials ©

The guardians of the Laws of the Game, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), will meet on 17 and 18 May to take a decision on the experiment involving two additional assistant referees, which is ongoing in the UEFA Europa League.

The IFAB, which comprises FIFA and the national football associations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, decided at its 124th annual general meeting in Zurich on Saturday to wait until the completion of the current UEFA Europa League season before holding an extraordinary meeting and taking its decision.

"A presentation was provided on the experiment with additional assistant referees in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League, following the 144 matches played so far," said FIFA in a statement after the meeting. "It was agreed that following the conclusion of the competition on 12 May, a special meeting of the board will discuss the final analysis of the experiment on 17 and 18 May."

The experiment with two additional assistant referees is being undertaken in the UEFA Europa League after being endorsed by both the world football body and the IFAB. In the experiment, the referee, two assistant referees and the fourth official are accompanied by two additional assistant referees who take up positions alongside each goal. Their particular mission is to focus on incidents that take place in the penalty area.

Concerning the potential use of goal-line technology in football, the board concluded that goal-line technology would not be pursued. The IFAB also discussed sending-off offences, particularly the triple punishment of a penalty-kick, red card and suspension that results when a player denies an obvious goalscoring opportunity to the opposing team.

This issue will also be on the agenda at the IFAB extraordinary meeting on 17 and 18 May, together with the roles and responsibilities of the fourth official and the issue of feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick.