- Associated Press - Monday, January 13, 2014

ZURICH (AP) - FIFA has given football’s rule-making panel the freedom and budget to test new ideas before deciding on changes.

Members of the International Football Association Board, comprising FIFA and the four British federations, said Monday they will use their new independence to be pro-active.

“We will have the opportunity to test and pilot different programs,” Wales football association chief executive Jonathan Ford said at a briefing. “Historically, we have not been very successful in doing that.”

Ford said sin bins, when a player is forced off the field for a certain amount of time after committing a foul, were “absolutely” the kind of major change that would benefit from detailed study.

UEFA President Michel Platini has suggested players could be removed from the field for 10-15 minutes for some offenses instead of receiving a yellow card.

Platini previously joined calls for IFAB to become more open and transparent in FIFA’s recent modernizing reforms.

In its new structure, the panel will appoint two advisory groups in March at its 127th annual meeting to update the laws of the game. Specialists in football and technical issues will receive and generate proposals.

“It means there will be easier access and a way to listen to the world of football,” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said.

IFAB’s biggest decision in recent years was approving the use of goal-line technology after years of opposition by FIFA President Sepp Blatter fueled a perception that the panel was failing to represent all interests in world football.

Valcke acknowledged that had been “a fear (the panel) could be integrated within FIFA.”

An IFAB decision last year to modify the offside law caused confusion and anger in a Premier League match on Sunday, when Newcastle was denied a goal against Manchester City, which won 2-0.

In March, IFAB will decide whether to allow women and girls to wear Islamic headscarves in matches at the end of a two-year pilot project which followed a campaign led by FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan.

Sin bins could be the next major issue for IFAB to handle, as Blatter also suggested giving referees the power to stop players from returning to play immediately if they feigned injury.

Valcke said anyone in world football could make a law-changing proposal, and IFAB could be asked in future to extend video technology by helping referees make decisions on penalty kicks and offside.

However, panel members were wary Monday of interfering with the flow of play and tinkering with rules.

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