Go to contents

FIFA Announces World Cup Rules Changes

Posted March. 23, 2006 03:03,   


Soccer players usually have scratches all over their bodies after a match from the jersey pulling and grabbing that has become commonplace in international soccer.

For the 2006 Germany World Cup, however, a rule giving jersey grabbers an automatic yellow card has been instituted.

In the 1998 France World Cup, Ha Seok-ju of Korea scored a goal against Mexico, but was disqualified because of an illegal tackle. Korea lost. “The Korean athletes acted on instinct,” said Korean Football Association official and World Cup veteran Kim Ju-seong.

The key for Korea in this World Cup is to make the tournament’s rule changes second nature.

The core of the new rules announced by FIFA earlier this month includes severe punishments for “ungentlemanly” behavior. Elbowing or reckless tackles will be subject to unconditional foul outs. Foul outs given for intentional back-tackles now apply to all intentional tackles. Pulling your opponent’s shirt or grabbing his body will result in a yellow card warning. A warning will also be given to anyone who continues to play after a referee’s whistle blows.

According to coach Hong Myeong-bo, these new rules do not pose much of a problem for Korean players. “We don’t commit many of these kinds of fouls, so I doubt these changes will affect us negatively,” he said.

KBS TV commentator Lee Yong-su pointed out the European players are skilled in using their hands when the referee is not looking. “This is something we must train for,” said Lee.

Offside rules loosened-

The trickiest new rules in the upcoming World Cup are its new offside rules. As long as a player does not touch the ball, he will not be ruled offside, even if he is engaging in an offensive attempt. This new rule will create a dangerous situation for defenders who have the habit of loosening their defense too early by second-guessing referee offside rulings. Kim stressed that defenders must not loosen their coverage until the whistle is blown.

No more ‘sudden death’ goals-

We will see no more “golden goals” like the one Ahn Jung-hwan scored against Italy in 2002. The sudden death rule has been eliminated in the new rules. If two competing teams stalemate until the end of ninety minutes match time, they are required to play additional two extended periods, each divided into fifteen minutes regardless of who scores the first goal. If no winners emerge from the extended periods, the match will be settled through a penalty shootout.

Jae-Yun Jung jaeyuna@donga.com