International Competitions - May 31, 2020 09:00FIFA Futsal Laws of the gameMain amendments to the 20/21 editionby Luca Ranocchiari - editor

In a circular featuring a football penalty area (!) on the cover page still not released on their official website (apparently, but we could be wrong) but spreaded through National FAs (at least the few ones where people show some interest in futsal) and then over the huge social network world, FIFA has announced the main amendments to the 20/21 edition of the Futsal Laws of the game.

The first part is dedicated to the youth, veterans, disability and grassroots futsal competitions, focused on the size of the pitch, size, weight and material of the ball, game duration, goal clearance and so on. Also, no more age limits are set for youth and veterans challenges: this will be up to National FAs decisions.

Then, there's an interesting mention to the girls game that seemed to be ignored by media: "womens' futsal is no longer a separate category and now has the same status as mens' futsal". What does that mean? According to the informations we could obtain this seems to be more related to the "politically correct" choice based on no longer distinguishing between men and women game, rather than on concrete changes in the management and development of the game. Actual changes will come just for referees, where women and men whistles will have to meet the same physical tests to be allowed to officiate games, unlike what happened in the past.

Then: laws of the game changes for the "adult competitions". The number "five" is the key: 5 substitutes allowed to warm up at the same time and a jump into the past for penalties: both teams take five kicks and no longer three". So the question is: why? Or we'd better ask: why reducing to three in the past seasons? What was the purpose?

No big changes in this circular of amendments anyway: some specifications on player equipment, referees' powers and duties and other match officials rules are mentioned.

After that, a little change on the games ending: this will be established by the timekeeper acoustic signal, regardless of the referee whistle.

Small changes also for laws 8 (start and restart of the match) and 10 (outcome of the game, including the penalty kicks number as previously indicated).

Laws 12 amendments specify in detail the fouls determined by handling the ball in the penalty area (and outside the area for keepers) and then changes are applied to the DOGSO (denyng a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity) situations.

Last slight specifications regard laws 13 (free-kicks), 14 (penalty kicks), 15 (kick in) and 16 (goal clearance) but relax: nothing included in this circular will revolutionize the game!

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