A FIFA panel proposed that referees be more lenient with players who foul in the penalty area. The FIFA Task Force Football 2014 led by Franz Beckenbauer agreed that the so-called “triple punishment” of penalty, red card and suspension is too severe. Beckenbauer said:
“A penalty is enough if it is a simple foul or a tackle where you try to get the ball but you are a second late. If you have a violent foul, if it would have been a red card anywhere on the field, then it’s a penalty and a red card.”
Red cards would still be given for handball offenses that stop a certain goal, under the 20-member panel’s proposal.
FIFA’s head of refereeing, Massimo Busacca, said the proposal would have stopped him sending off South Africa’s goalkeeper in a 2010 World Cup match against Uruguay. Busacca was required to dismiss Itumeleng Khune for bringing down Luis Suarez despite only slight contact. South Africa lost 3-0 and Khune missed the final group-stage match against France. Busacca said:
“This is one of the changes we would want to see, when the goalkeeper challenges but finds the (forward’s) legs.”
FIFA will present a new draft to its rules-making panel, known as the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which has previously upheld the triple sanction when defenders and goalkeepers deny attackers a goal-scoring opportunity. It will meet 3rd March 2012 in England and can approve the changes that would take effect in July.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter created the task force to suggest ways of improving soccer before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.