What are the FIFA Rule Changes for 2023-2024?

Here are the new FIFA rules for the 2023 to 2024 season. These apply to leagues starting after July 1, 2023.

Goal scored with an extra player.

A goal is no longer allowed just because a team had an extra player on the field. Instead, the goal counts unless the referee determines the extra player interfered with play.

The same applies to coaches and other extra people. The referee only disallows the goal if the extra person interfered with play.

5th officials can now report offenses to the referee.

In cup finals and other important tournaments, reserve ARs have been used as a 5th official. The 5th official replaces an injured AR since the 4th official is usually a center referee who may never act as AR.

Previously, 5th officials just sat next to the field. Now they can inform referees of fouls and other incidents when they have a better view than the referee — just like 4th officials have been able to.

Time is added for goal celebrations.

This was always supposed to happen in principle but often didn’t. Adding time for goal celebrations is now explicitly required.

Calling shoot-outs shoot-outs.

Tired of hearing obnoxious people insist on calling shoot-outs “kicks from the penalty mark?” Well that old stuffy term has now officially been replaced by “penalties” and “penalty shoot-out.”

Deliberate play of the ball for offside.

Previous offside clarifications are now specifically defined.

A deliberate play is controlling the ball to:

  • Pass to a team-mate
  • Gain possession of the ball
  • Clear the ball by kicking or heading it

An unsuccessful attempt counts as a play. So a player who goes up to head the ball and only grazes it can reset the offside even if the ball goes straight to an attacker who was way off.

Challenges for the ball for fouls and cards.

Attempting to play the ball now includes challenges for the ball. This doesn’t really change anything and is a clarification of a language issue.

The senior team official is responsible for the bench.

If someone says or does something from the bench and the referees can’t identify who, the head coach now gets the card. This matches rules that have long been used in high school and college games.

Goalkeepers have to behave on penalty kicks.

“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.”

Hopefully no more of the walking up to the penalty spot games. But FIFA didn’t say what happens to the goalkeeper, so it will probably just turn into goalkeepers doing it until the ref tells them to stop.

VAR technical changes.

The replay operator is no longer a necessary position for VAR. This was a technical person who operated the replays and wasn’t a match official.

Some VAR systems have the referees work the controls, so replay operators are now something that may be there.

See the full FIFA announcement here.

2 thoughts on “What are the FIFA Rule Changes for 2023-2024?”

    • Yes. However, when facing a penalty kick, the goalkeeper must keep at least one foot on the goal line and cannot move forward until the ball is kicked. Hope this helped.


Leave a Comment