An updated Disciplinary Code has been approved by the Irish Football Association’s Football Committee – and it will come into effect on 1 August 2023.
The revisions to the Code follow a review by the association’s Disciplinary Committee.
A new article has been added (Article 1.13) to allow - where it is proven - a lesser breach of the Code to be substituted and sanctioned if the original breach issued in a Notice of Complaint is not proven during any challenge.
Headbutting has been removed from the list of dismissal offences incurring an additional six- match suspension (Article 14). Instead headbutting will now be dealt with as violent conduct.
In the updated rules additional narrative has been included to clarify offences against match officials with tougher corresponding sanctions being imposed.
Anyone dismissed for using threatening or intimidating behaviour towards a match official will be suspended for at least an additional 10 matches.
A player who is dismissed from the field of play and its surroundings, including the technical area and the substitutes bench, for committing an assault on a match official (whether or not causing bodily harm) will be suspended for at least an additional 15 matches up to a maximum suspension of two years.
And a player who is dismissed for committing an assault on a match official that causes serious bodily harm will be subject to an additional sine die suspension from all football- related activity with no review to be considered by the Committee under a period of five years.
Among the amendments is an updated narrative regarding responsibility for postings on social media accounts. An updated Article 19 says players, officials, match officials, clubs, leagues or any other recognised football body or person under the jurisdiction of the Irish FA are deemed responsible at all times for any postings on their social media account(s).
It notes the fact that a posting may have been made by a third party will not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken.
And re-tweeting/re-posting/re-sharing another person’s posting may lead to disciplinary action if the original comment or content was improper.
From the start of August caution and dismissal fines will increase to £8 for senior matches (up from £5) and £6 for intermediate matches (also up from £5), while the fine for yellow cards and red cards in Junior matches will go up by a pound to £4.
It represents the first increase in caution and dismissal fines in Northern Ireland for more than 15 years.
The remainder of the current women’s season will conclude under the provisions of the existing Disciplinary Code under which its season commenced.
The updated Disciplinary Code can be viewed via the link below.