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Penalty feinters banned for World Cup


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Football's law-making body has banned the use of "feints" by penalty-takers ahead of the World Cup finals in South Africa.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has changed the written laws surrounding the taking of a spot-kick to prevent players dummying or pausing at the end of their run up, a tactic often employed to see which way a goalkeeper dives before slotting the ball in the other side of the goal.

Players will still be allowed to pause and jink to their heart's content during their run-up, but once they reach the ball, any feints will be punished with a yellow card and the penalty must be retaken.

"Feinting in the run up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted," FIFA's general secretary Jerome Valcke said. "However, feinting to kick the ball once the player has completed his run-up is now considered an infringement."

Other outcomes from IFAB's most recent meeting have seen the fourth official given more power to "assist the referee to control the match" and to approve the further experimentation of behind-the-goal officials worldwide.

"Today (the fourth official) is as important as the other officials on the field," Valcke said.

The use of fifth and sixth officials positioned behind the goal-line on the opposite side of the goal to the assistant referee has been seen in the Europa League to mixed success, and IFAB will allow any international competition to conduct their own trials so long as they commit to using them for the entire season.

Such an official may have seen an incident such as Thierry Henry's handball that allowed France to progress to the World Cup at Ireland's expense, although in the Europa League the extra official has at times caused confusion for the central referee.

IFAB also agreed to look into the "triple-sanction" rule where players committing a last-man foul are sent off and therefore automatically suspended as well as giving up a penalty and almost certain goal. The body will seek input from players, coaches and officials after the World Cup.


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