Belgian FA to decide if players can use earphones

BRUSSELS: The Belgian FA is to consider whether players are to be allowed to use earphones during games after Genk goalkeeper Jan Moons sported one against Club Bruges. 

Moons wore a small earphone during Friday’s 1-0 win so he could hear instructions from head coach Sef Vergoosen that were being transmitted by goalkeeping coach Guy Martens. 

Genk’s technical staff want to provide a more sophisticated earphone to all their players but that will only be possible if the Belgian FA approves at a meeting next month. 

I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR: Genk goalkeeper Jan Moons (second from right) celebrates with his teammates as he wears an earpiece to receive tactical information during his team's game against FC Bruges last week. The Belgian FA will meet to decide whether it is all right for players to wear earphones during games.- AFPpic

The FA’s spokesman Nicolas Cornu said: “This is the first such case for our association and even for FIFA.” 

A FIFA spokesman added: “We’ve taken note of the experiment and are consulting our internal experts. We’re assessing it from a Laws of the Game point of view and also from the health and safety aspect but we’re not yet ready to make a statement.” 

Under Law 4 covering 'The Players' Equipment’ “a player must not use equipment or wear anything which is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewellery)”. 

But the FIFA spokesman said: “It’s quite a novelty. It shouldn’t present any danger to a player or his opponent.” 

The next step is for the use of the earphone to be included in the referee’s report on the Genk-Club Bruges match. His report will be presented to the Belgian FA’s referees commission, which has the power to present the case to the FA’s executive committee which meets on Feb 6. 

Cornu said it “will then provide a statement about the security problem and whether the earphone favoured Genk.” 

If the use of an earphone requires a change in the Laws of the Game then that would have to be considered when the International Football Association Board (IFAB) holds its annual general meeting in London on Feb 28. IFAB acts as the guardian of the Laws of the Game and is responsible for studying, modifying and overseeing any changes. It has four representatives from FIFA and one from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. – Reuters 

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