Grey Wiggle no more: new penalty rules set to be introduced in July

Goalkeepers are no longer able to taunt opposition players during penalties, after the International Football Association Board (IFAB) introduced a series of rule changes that come into effect on July 1.

IFAB released the rule changes in their 2023/24 law changes report, which states in Law 14 – ‘The Penalty Kick’ – that goalkeepers are no longer able to “unfairly distract” a penalty taker.

“Clarification that the goalkeeper must not behave in a manner that fails to show respect for the game and the opponent, i.e. by unfairly distracting the kicker,” it says.

“The defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts, without touching the goalposts, crossbar or goal net, until the ball is kicked. The goalkeeper must not behave in a way that unfairly distracts the kicker, e.g. delay the taking of the kick or touch the goalposts, crossbar or goal net.”


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The decision will prevent a repeat of Socceroos goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne’s ‘Wiggle’ tactics that were used to aplomb during Australia’s penalty shootout victory over Peru – that booked their place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has used similar tactics, famously in their penalty shootout victory over France in the World Cup final – where he did everything in his power to put off the opposition players – including throwing the ball away from Aurelien Tchouameni which saw him receive a booking.

Martinez was asked about the changes, saying: “I always said that after the Copa America, I don’t know if I would do it again. I already saved the penalties that I had to save.

Emiliano Martinez

“And now the same thing happened to me, I don’t know if I’m going to save a penalty in 20 years, maybe not, but I had to tackle them in the Copa America and in the World Cup.

“I was able to stop them and help the team win, that’s enough for me. We will always have to adapt to modern rules and what FIFA wants, so there will be no problem. We will adapt.”

Elsewhere, the decision hasn’t been received well, with AC Milan and France goalkeeper Mike Maignan sarcastically tweeting: “New IFAB penalty rules 2026: Goalkeepers must have their backs to the shot. If the penalty is saved, the opposition gets an indirect freekick.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Ian Wright described the rule change as “ridiculous”.