FIFA listens to the futsal industry and amends law 4 of their new rules for the sport

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In July this year, Futsal Focus received numerous messages from futsal fans, players, and coaches expressing their concern for FIFA’s new rules for futsal especially Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment in relation to the following:

“Knee and arm protectors – Where knee and arm protectors are worn, they must be the same colour as the main colour of the shirt sleeve (arm protectors) or the shorts/ trousers (knee protectors), and cannot protrude excessively.”

Across the futsal industry, coaches and players alike wanted this ruled to be amended and in England Philip Codd started a petition endorsed by England Futsal goalkeeping coach Andy Reading in protest. The petition stated:

FIFA has changed the rules regarding GK protective equipment which will come into force in the 20/21 season. All competitive leagues must adhere to it. The rule states that protective knee and elbow equipment must match the colour of the goalkeeper kit. I have had correspondence from the league in England that referees will be directed to tell keepers to take pads (vital protective equipment) off which are not of the correct colour. This will increase the chances of injury exponentially due to the saving techniques used in futsal.

I don’t believe FIFA have thought about the practical implications, cost implications or the health and safety implication of this. I will use this petition to hold weight to the argument when, on behalf of all futsal goalkeepers (and probably referees), I formally complain to FIFA. At present, the supply of quality coloured pads, that are designed for futsal, simply isn’t there and I think it is ludicrous to expect goalkeepers to buy 3 sets of white pads and dye them at home! The pads won’t match the colours of the kit exactly anyway and will probably look terrible.

Many outfield players see this as similar to when there was a ruling on undershorts/tops. This is not the same! Under tops and shorts are a choice or preference; goalkeeper pads are necessary to prevent serious injury! Currently, GoalKeeper pad suppliers, which design for futsal, stock mainly black or white pads. Black and white are both neutral colours which are neither distracting nor an issue!

I would like to see the rule scrapped, or amended to this: Goalkeepers protective equipment must be the colour of the kit or black/white. I believe this would be a sensible solution to this very anti-gk rule change. This rule will have serious implications for all futsal goalkeepers if not changed. The reaction on social media already gives the impression that this will not be the only petition concerning FIFA’s recent rule changes.

FIFA recently released news that they will amend the rule:

FIFA listens to the futsal industry and amends law 4 of their new rules for the sport

Philip Codd and Andy along with many futsal enthusiasts around the world will be delighted with this news and England Futsal International Andy Reading’s tweet on Twitter depicts the industry’s thoughts:

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