Collina warns Premier League must enforce new penalty rules

FIFA referee chief Pierluigi Collina has warned new rules on goalkeepers’ movements before penalties being subject to Video Assistant Referee reviews must be enforced by the Premier League.

The Women’s World Cup in France has seen several changes implemented following the announcement by lawmakers the International Football Association.

As well as interpretations over what is now deemed handball, another one of the changes states goalkeepers must have at least one foot on the goal-line when a penalty is taken or, if they are jumping at the time of contact, have one foot in line with it.

Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander saw her save count for nothing
Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander saw her save count for nothing (Richard Sellers/PA)

Scotland saw their hopes of qualification ended when Argentina came back from 3-0 down with 16 minutes left to draw 3-3 after a late penalty had been awarded with help from VAR.

It was subsequently ordered to be retaken after a save from Lee Alexander when she was adjudged to have moved off her line too soon following another VAR review.

Technology also saw France defender Wendie Renard have a second attempt at her spot kick because Nigeria’s goalkeeper had moved too soon. This was despite Renard failing to hit the target – she did not miss the retake, though, and France secured a 1-0 win from their final Group A match.

VAR is being introduced to the Premier League next season.

It is understood the Professional Games Match Officials Limited, the organisation which trains and supplies referees to England’s top four divisions and the Football Association, recognises the importance of its match officials and VARs adhering to the IFAB VAR protocol.

Press Association Sport understands the PGMOL has not instructed them, and would not do so, to operate outside the protocol, with the need for uniformity throughout competitions using VAR appreciated.

With goalkeeper encroachment at a penalty, the VAR may intervene if the on-field match officials fail to penalise a clear offence.

The protocol allows for flexibility in the level of intervention from the VAR and the Premier League’s approach will be to have a ‘high line’ of VAR intervention, which is understood to be felt best suited for the game in England.

During a lengthy media briefing at the Women’s World Cup in France on Wednesday afternoon, chairman of FIFA’s referees’ committee Collina was asked directly about suggestions the Premier League would not follow the same protocol over VAR and penalties.

The Italian had stressed the same rules would govern England’s top flight, just like every other competition under the FIFA umbrella.

Collina said: “I did not see any document in which this is written. The laws of the game are the same all over the world.

“What is written in the laws of the game has to be enforced in every (one) of the countries belonging to FIFA, and in every (one) of the competitions arranged by the member association of FIFA.”

Collina added: “I did not read anything (different) – the laws of the game are for everybody.”