Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has organised elite referees and coaches refresher seminars to familiarise them with the latest changes to the Laws of the Game.
Fifa’s International Football Association Board (Ifab) approved a number of amendments and clarifications to the current Laws of the Game which will come into force on June 1 2019.
In Blantyre, the seminar will be held at Chiwembe’s Mpira Village under Fifa referees instructor Moffat Champiti.
Retired Fifa referee Verson Lwanja will facilitate the Lilongwe seminar at Simama Hotel while in Mzuzu referees instructor Zuza Nyondo will facilitate the seminar at Mzuzu Sunbird.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary Williams Banda said the seminars had come at an ideal time as stakeholders are preparing for the 2019 season which kicks off next weekend.
“It is good that the referees and coaches will familiarise themselves with the amended Laws of the Game,” he said.
Blantyre-based Fifa referee Happiness Mbandambanda hailed FAM for organising the seminar, saying it will help ease misunderstandings during matches.
“It is important that coaches get familiarised with the changes to the Laws of the Game so that they are not taken by surprise during matches,” he said.
She, however, said she would have loved if team captains also attended the seminar.
“We deal with players on the pitch. They also need to understand the Laws of the Game,” said Mbandambanda.
In the amendments, the new Laws of the Game prohibit players from interfering with opponents’ human wall when taking a free-kick.
Players who are being taken off and replaced must now leave the pitch by the nearest point on the touchline.
Referees will also be able to show yellow or red cards to coaches in the technical area in the same way they do with players.
The new Laws of the Game also say a goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot on or in line with the goal-line when a penalty is taken.
Ifab also says there will be no goal in cases where the ball accidentally strikes a player’s hand before crossing over the line.
Similarly, if a player has accidentally handled the ball and created an advantage or subsequently scores, they will be penalised with a free kick.