The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has declared certain modifications to the regulations concerning goalkeepers during penalty kicks, and these alterations are expected to permanently transform the way penalties are conducted.
Starting from July 1st, goalkeepers will be prohibited from engaging in any form of provocation or intimidation towards penalty takers in the lead-up to the kick.
The prohibited actions include touching the goalposts and nets, causing a delay in the penalty kick, unfairly distracting the taker, and exhibiting disrespectful behavior. Goalkeepers like Emiliano Martinez will have to adjust their approach to penalty shootouts as a result of these changes.
Martinez’s reputation for engaging in taunting mind-games during penalties has been well-established, and it arguably played a role in Argentina’s victory in the World Cup in Qatar, where he successfully distracted French players before each kick they took.
This has sparked a debate among fans, with some believing that such tactics are simply part of the game, while others feel that it is unfair to impose rules on goalkeepers without attempting to ban stuttered run-ups for penalty-takers.
One fan said: ‘Can’t lie this is part of the game, it’s just mind games.’
Another said: ‘If goalies can’t do things like this, then the stutter step/feint run up should be banned.’
One fan even attributed the whole rule change to Martinez: ‘i’m going to tell my kids how one man changed a whole system himself. Dibuuu’
Goalkeepers are now required to maintain a distance from the penalty takers during shootouts and regular games, and taunting is prohibited.
This eliminates a significant source of pressure for the takers.
The revised rules now benefit the attackers and make tactics such as Grobelaar’s spaghetti legs, Dudek’s body movement distractions, Tim Krul’s waiting at the penalty spot, and Emiliano Martinez’s constant taunting a thing of the past.
It remains to be seen whether these changes will have a positive impact on penalty shootouts in the future.