2012 FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game

NSW Futsal Referees Assoc

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has recently released the 2012 edition of the Futsal Laws of the Game in the lead up to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in November this year.

While the majority of laws from the 2010 edition remain in place there have been a number of changes that referees, players, coaches and fans of the game should be aware of.

The changes that have been incorporated into the 2012 edition are as follows:

Law 3 – The Number of Players

Official Competitions:

Up to a maximum of nine substitutes may be used in any match played in an official competition organised under the auspices of FIFA, the confederations or the member associations. The rules of the competition must state how many substitutes may be nominated, up to a maximum of nine.

Interpretation of the Futsal Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees:

If a named substitute enters the field of play instead of a named player at the start of the match and the referee or assistant referees are not informed of this change:

  • The referees allow the named substitute to continue the match
  • No disciplinary sanction is taken against the named substitute
  • The referee reports the incident to the appropriate authorities

About this change:

  • This has been changed from seven due to the nature of many competitions being tournament based to reduce the impact on the players in the team
  • Competition rules may establish a different number of substitutes
  • If the wrong player starts the game based on the match sheet and the referees are not informed, there is far less disruption to the match
  • Previously the player was made to leave the pitch

Law 4 – The Players Equipment


If tape or similar material is applied externally it must be the same colour as that part of the stocking it is applied to.

About this change:

  • More and more, players are using large amounts of tape on socks that change the fundamental colour
  • Players are also using large differently coloured braces, straps or ankle length socks over the top of their playing sock
  • With referees often using the sock colour as a reference, this was done to help the officials identify the colour correctly

Law 7 – The Duration of the Match

Ending the periods of play:

If the ball has been played towards one of the goals, the referees must wait for the play to end before the timekeeper may sound the whistle or acoustic signal. The period ends when:

  • The ball goes directly into the goal and a goal is scored
  • The ball leaves the boundaries of the pitch
  • The ball touches the goalkeeper or another player in the defending team, the goalposts, crossbar or ground, crosses the goal line and a goal is scored
  • The defending goalkeeper or another player in the defending team touches the ball or it rebounds from the goalposts or crossbar and does not cross the goal line
  • The ball touches any player in the team that played the ball, except if an indirect free kick was taken and the ball was heading towards the opponent’s goal after being touched by the second player
  • No infringement has been committed that is sanctioned with a direct free kick, an indirect free kick or a penalty kick, and a direct free kick, indirect free kick or penalty kick does not have to be retaken

About this change:

  • If an infringement is committed during the period between the ball being kicked and the end of the match that infringement is appropriately sanctioned
  • The law was inconsistent if the ball touched a defender as opposed to the goalkeeper
  • It is not seen in the spirit of fair play to allow an infringement to be committed and, not sanctioned that could, in extreme cases lead to offences being committed to alter the result of a match

Law 8 – Start and Restart of Play

Dropped Ball:

If the ball enters the goal directly after touching the ground and subsequently being played or touched by a player:

  • If the ball is kicked directly into the opponent’s goal, a goal kick is awarded
  • If the ball is kicked directly into the team’s own goal, a corner kick is awarded

About this change:

  • There have been a number of occasions where goals have been scored from uncontested dropped balls
  • This is to ward off problems occurring as a result of a player scoring directly from a dropped ball

These changes are now in force for competitions that have commenced on or after 2 July 2012, which will include the 2012/13 Football NSW Premier and Super Futsal Leagues.

Any clubs who wish to be further briefed on these changes or any other aspects of the 2012 edition of the Futsal Laws of the Game can do so by emailing the NSWFRA or following the contact us link on the NSWFRA website.

Follow NSW Futsal Referees @NSWFRA on twitter for the latest news and updates

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