Football: Video referees set to drive major rule changes, including handball offences

Uruguay's Luis Suarez a 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier in Lima on March 28, 2017. Mr Elleray said incidents such as Suarez's handball on the line during Uruguay's 2010 World Cup match against Ghana was discussed.
Uruguay's Luis Suarez a 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier in Lima on March 28, 2017. Mr Elleray said incidents such as Suarez's handball on the line during Uruguay's 2010 World Cup match against Ghana was discussed.PHOTO: AFP
A video assistant referee system beside the pitch prior to the Club World Cup semi-final football match in Yokohama in December 2016.
A video assistant referee system beside the pitch prior to the Club World Cup semi-final football match in Yokohama in December 2016.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Video referees could help introduce key rule changes in 25 areas of the game such as awarding a penalty goal for a handball offence on the goal line, football's lawmaking body has said.

David Elleray, the technical director of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), said video assistant referees could trigger key changes to the handball rule to make the game fairer.

Elleray said incidents like Luis Suarez's handball on the line during Uruguay's 2010 World Cup match against Ghana was discussed.

Ghana missed the resulting penalty and a chance to qualify to the semi-finals of the tournament.

"The IFAB is looking at 25 areas of the game aiming to make it fairer and handball is one of those," the 62-year-old former referee told the Times.

"One of those areas we are discussing is incidents similar to the handball by (Uruguay striker) Luis Suarez in the 2010 World Cup.

"A lot of people have said in those kind of incidents why can't you give that as a goal if it is clearly going in."

The video assistance, which is being tested ahead of the 2018 World Cup, played a key role earlier this week when it disallowed an offside goal from France striker Antoine Griezmann in a friendly against Spain.