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New Penalty Rules Aim to Curb Goalkeeper Distractions and “Sh*thousery” in Light of Emi Martinez’s World Cup Final Incident

Jan 27, 2023

The move is aimed at promoting fair play and sportsmanship in the game.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is set to introduce new rules that will ban goalkeepers from distracting penalty-takers, following Emi Martinez’s antics in the World Cup final. The new rules are set to be ratified at IFAB’s annual general meeting in March and will officially be introduced as part of the laws of the game.

Argentina and Aston Villa goalkeeper Martinez was the hero of their shootout win against France in the World Cup final in Qatar last month. Martinez was successful in delaying the penalty attempts by kicking the ball away. Eventually, he was booked after France’s third penalty, with two players missing for the 2018 champions, while Argentina scored all four of their penalties. 

New AB’s rules could also stop goalkeepers from making amusing gestures or dancing while in a penalty as that is perceived as a distraction. Martinez was often seen dancing and making unusual gestures towards the penalty taker in the past.

Martinez defended his mind games, saying “It’s a moment that I always have to give to my teammates, they scored three goals against me and it hurt, but then I did everything right. It was a game of suffering, just two efforts against us and they drew level with us,”

He added, “It is in this moment that I have to give my teammates peace of mind. I could have stopped it [Mbappe’s penalty] too, I dived badly. But then I did everything right. I have no words for it. I was calm during the penalty shootout and everything went as we wanted. All that I have dreamed of has been achieved. To my family, I came from a very humble place, I left when I was very young to England and I want to dedicate it to them.”

However, the golden glove winner was widely criticized for his actions afterwards, with Ian Wright saying that the now Aston Villa keeper had “crossed the line”. “I look at Emi Martinez, remember the sh*thousery with Auba [Martinez tried to put off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when he stepped up to take a penalty against Aston Villa in October 2021] and all that stuff he was doing at Arsenal,” Wright said on the Ringer’s FC podcast three days after the final. 

“I was thinking this guy is going to go to another level of sh*thousery if this final goes to penalties. And he did. I like Emi but what he did in the penalty shootout crossed the line, in respect of sportsmanship. He crossed the line.”

The new rules being introduced by IFAB will ensure that goalkeepers will no longer be able to use such tactics to gain an advantage over their opponents during penalty shootouts. 

The move is aimed at promoting fair play and sportsmanship in the game. It will be interesting to see how this rule change affects the performance of goalkeepers in future penalty shootouts and what new strategies they will come up with to save penalties.

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