The International Football Association Board (IFAB) released rule changes in their 2023-24 law changes report. There, in Law 14- ‘The Penalty Kick’, it says that goalkeepers will no longer be able to “unfairly distract” penalty takers.
“Clarification that the goalkeeper must not behave in a manner that fails to show respect for the game and the opponent, i.e. by unfairly distracting the kicker,” the new rule says.
“The defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts, without touching the goalposts, crossbar or goal net, until the ball is kicked. The goalkeeper must not behave in a way that unfairly distracts the kicker, e.g. delay the taking of the kick or touch the goalposts, crossbar or goal net,” the rule further adds.
The new rules will become functional from July 1, 2023.
Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez, who is known for antics to distract penalty takers, was asked about the rule changes.
“I always said that after the Copa America, I don’t know if I would do it again. I already saved the penalties that I had to save,” Martinez said.
“And now the same thing happened to me, I don’t know if I’m going to save a penalty in 20 years, maybe not, but I had to tackle them in the Copa America and in the World Cup.
“I was able to stop them and help the team win, that’s enough for me. We will always have to adapt to modern rules and what FIFA wants, so there will be no problem. We will adapt.”
AC Milan keeper Mike Maignan did not welcome the rule changes, evident in his sarcastic tweet that said, “New IFAB penalty rules 2026: Goalkeepers must have their backs to the shot. If the penalty is saved, the opposition gets an indirect freekick.”
Former Arsenal player Ian Wright also expressed his dissatisfaction, describing the rule changes as “ridiculous.”
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