Football lawmakers confirm new time wasting rule for goalkeepers: When do trials take place, what to expect, what IFAB has said

Fresh details of a trial to clamp down on time wasting from goalkeeepers have emergedFresh details of a trial to clamp down on time wasting from goalkeeepers have emerged
Fresh details of a trial to clamp down on time wasting from goalkeeepers have emerged
Fresh details of a trial to clamp down on time wasting have emerged

Football lawmakers have announced a major shake-up of the rules, which will likely come as bad news for goalkeepers around the world. It is a change designed to reduce time wasting from goalkeepers in a bid to make the game flow at a faster pace, particularly late on in a match when a team is holding on to a slender lead.

As it stands, goalkeepers are able to hold on to the ball for six seconds before needing to release it out field, otherwise an indirect free kick should be awarded to the opposition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, that rule is rarely ever enforced and it is common for fans to become frustrated when an opposition goalkeeper holds onto the ball for upwards of 20 seconds to try and run the clock down. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) are hoping to clamp down on this issue and have announced plans to trial a new rule. It states that goalkeepers will instead be able to hold the ball for up to eight seconds, but if they overrun that throw or a corner kick to the opposition instead of the current sanction of an indirect free kick in the penalty box.

The IFAB confirmed this plan at a meeting in March and trials are scheduled to take place outside the top two divisions in any given country outside 'A'-level international fixtures.

This means the highest tier the change will be tested at in England will be League One.

After the trial, the IFAB will consider the results in October and November 2025 and it could lead to a permanent rule change in the Premier League from the start of the 2026/27 season. Referees will count down from eight seconds when the 'keeper was clear control of the ball and raise their hand to indicate the countdown from five seconds. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Should a custodian misbehave and break the eight-second barrier, he will receive the warning at the first instance and a yellow card if they are a repeat offender. The exact date that the trials will take place and the leagues have not yet been confirmed by the IFAB.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.