How hard can it be for a striker to score from 12 yards out with all the time in the world to compose themselves and pick their spot? Apparently, IFAB believe it’s too easy for goalkeepers and have yet again changed the rules to help the strikers.
IFAB released the updates to the penalty laws in their 2023/24 report, which states in Law 14 – ‘The Penalty Kick’ – that goalkeepers are no longer able to “unfairly distract” a penalty taker, stating:
“Clarification that the goalkeeper must not behave in a manner that fails to show respect for the game and the opponent, i.e. by unfairly distracting the kicker,” it says.
“The defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts, without touching the goalposts, crossbar or goal net, until the ball is kicked. The goalkeeper must not behave in a way that unfairly distracts the kicker, e.g. delay the taking of the kick or touch the goalposts, crossbar or goal net.”Embed from Getty Images
The rule change is undoubtedly in response to the increase in goalkeeper antics that have been being used in the last couple of major international tournaments including, amongst others; Argentina and Aston Villa keeper Emiliano Martínez.
Martínez came out on top in penalty shootouts in both the Copa America and World Cup Finals recently with his eccentric dance moves, delaying penalty takers and doing anything else he could to interrupt, put off and psych out the strikers before their kicks.Embed from Getty Images
The news, particularly amongst the goalkeeping community hasn’t gone down well, as you can imagine. With current and ex professionals coming out to laugh at the rule changes, suggesting that next year keepers will have to be blindfolded or face the other way whilst the penalty kick is taken and retrospectively punished should they accidentally make the save.
Surely at some point, the rules have to change in the keepers favour also? How a bout stopping that awful stutter step? or banning that Panenka so Benzema doesn’t leave Ederson sprawling on the floor wondering where it all went wrong?