VALENCIENNES, France (AP) — The debut of video review in women's soccer is causing confusion and has pushed FIFA to make a rule change heading into the knockout phase of the World Cup.
FIFA received approval from the game's lawmaking body to suspend the rule that goalkeepers must be shown yellow cards for stepping off the goal-line during penalty shootouts.
With video assistant referees able to keep a closer eye on infringements, FIFA feared more goalkeepers could be penalized — and sent off if it's a second booking with no substitute allowed during shootouts. But the penalty kick will still be retaken.
The International Football Association Board granted the temporary dispensation on Friday which means goalkeepers can only be booked at the tournament for stepping off the line with both feet during a penalty kick in normal time.
"The caution for a goalkeeper who commits an offense was introduced in the laws as a deterrent," FIFA refereeing chief Pierluigi Collina said in comments provided by the governing body.
"But what better deterrent than the VAR? It's not possible that a goalkeeper moves both her feet off the goal line without being noticed. In addition we felt that the risk for a second caution was too high considering the number of penalties that are taken."
Penalty kicks have already been retaken during the group stage because VAR has scrutinized goalkeepers' movements more closely. Argentina was facing elimination after missing a penalty kick but it was ordered to be retaken after a video review, and the team scored to clinch a 3-3 draw. That clinched third place in Group D and a place in the round of 16.
"If a goalkeeper commits an offence like encroaching before the penalty kick is taken, the VAR cannot do anything but intervene and inform the referee that the penalty kick must be retaken and the goalkeeper cautioned," Collina said.
"All the teams were duly informed at the beginning of March and goalkeepers had enough time to get used to it."
But the law could be revisited at future meetings of IFAB, which includes four FIFA delegates and a representative from each of the four British associations.
"After the end of the tournament the disciplinary sanction for offences committed by the goalkeeper at penalties might be further discussed within IFAB's panels," Collina said.