5 April 2019 – In line with the new FIFA regulations, the South African Football Association (SAFA) can confirm that the technical teams of both Banyana Banyana and Jamaica have agreed to test the new regulations ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup scheduled for France from 7 June to 7 July.

The South Africans and the Reggae Girlz will face off in a farewell match for the home team before they head to the football soccer showpiece.

The clash takes place on Sunday, 7 April 2019 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

According to the regulations:

1. The ball will be in play once it is kicked and moves, and does not need to be out of the penalty box
2. Team officials will now be issued with either a yellow card for caution or red for dismissal from the technical area
3. A substituted player will leave the field at the nearest point of exit.

The new regulations were ratified at the International Football Association Board (IFAB) Annual General Meeting held on 2 March 2019.

(IFAB is the body that determines the Laws of the Game of association football)

(Below is a circular from FIFA)

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please note that, subject to the agreement of both teams taking part, the following experimental trials may be in effect during friendly matches scheduled to take place before the IFAB Annual General Meeting on 2 March 2019.

1. Goal kicks and defending team free kicks in the penalty area
At a goal kick or a free kick for the defending team in their penalty area, the ball is in play once it is kicked and clearly moves. This means that a goal kick/free kick could be a short pass to another defending team member, who can play the ball before it leaves the penalty area. Players of the opposing team must remain outside of the penalty area until the ball has been kicked and clearly moves. For free kicks, the normal distance of 9.15m must be observed by opponents of the kicker in addition to remaining outside of the penalty area until the ball is in play.

2. Red and yellow cards for team officials in the technical area
All occupants of the technical area must comply with the requirements of the Laws of the Game; the non-playing occupants who are identified on the team list are team officials.

If a team official behaves in an irresponsible manner, depending on its seriousness, the referee may issue a warning, show a yellow card to denote a caution, or show a red card to dismiss the person from the technical area.

Since neither the Laws of the Game nor the FIFA Disciplinary Code foresee the above-mentioned measures concerning team officials, the issuance of cautions to team officials will have no legal effect during the trial period. As a result, art. 17 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code will not apply to cautions issued to team officials (i.e. a team official will not be automatically suspended from the next match after having received a caution in two separate matches of the same competition).

On the other hand, despite the fact that the expulsion of team officials will also take the form of a red card instead of solely being sent off by order of the referee, its consequences will remain unchanged and in line with arts 18 and 19 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

3. Substituted player leaving the field of play
One cause of frustration in many matches is the time lost, sometimes deliberately, when a player who is being substituted walks slowly to the halfway line to leave the field of play.
Upon the referee’s decision, a player who is being substituted will be required to leave the field of play at the nearest point on the boundary line (in the same way that an injured player usually leaves the field of play). The only exception will be if the referee judges that this would put the player at risk (e.g. from the spectators).
Some self-explanatory clips can be found at the FIFA Competitions Extranet.
You are kindly requested to inform the appointed match officials and forward them this circular and the materials provided.

After the IFAB Annual Business Meeting, you will be duly informed of the amendments to the Laws of the Game and you will be authorised to implement the amendments in the friendly matches scheduled to take place before the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.

If you have any questions relating to this circular, please contact us via fwwcfrance2019@fifa.org.

Yours faithfully,

Zvonimir Boban
Deputy Secretary General (Football)