FIFA Laws of the Game

Laws of the Game

On 1 July 2009, the new Laws of the Game, modified at the 123rd Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in Newcastle, Northern Ireland on 28 February 2009, came into force.

To see the current Laws of your favourite game, click on the link in the "Read more" section below.

Authorised by the International Football Association Board
This booklet may not be reproduced or translated in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of FIFA.

Click here for FIFA's Laws of the Game.

FIFA Recommendations for Warm Up

The 11+ - a complete warm up to prevent injuries

Warming up prior to playing and training is a matter of routine for any serious player. A smart warm-up not only improves your performance, but also helps you to prevent injuries. "The 11+", the new injury prevention programme from FIFA's Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC), provides a complete, football-specific warm-up and can easily be integrated into a daily training routine.

"The 11+" is divided into three parts: it starts off with running exercises (part I), moves on to six exercises with three levels of increasing difficulty to improve strength, balance, muscle control and core stability (part II), and concludes with further running exercises (part III). The different levels of difficulty increase the programme's effectiveness and allow coaches and players to individually adapt the programme. "The 11+" takes approx. 20 minutes to complete and replaces the usual warm-up before training. Prior to playing a match, only the running exercises are performed, for about ten minutes.

"The 11+" has proven to cut injuries by up to half - if performed correctly and regularly. When it is adopted together with the values of fair play, it enables you, as a player or coach, to protect yourself, your team and your opponents and thus increase everyone's enjoyment of the game.  


For more information, click here.

Nutrition for Football

Key Messages on Nutrition for football

No need to become a nutrition expert - take these main points into consideration and you will optimise your training and match performance:

  • Carbohydrate supplies the muscles and brain with the fuels they need to meet the stress of training and competition. Learn what foods you should choose to meet your carbohydrate needs as well as how much carbohydrate to eat and when you should eat carbohydrates.

  • Foods rich in protein are important for building and repairing muscles, but a varied diet containing everyday foods will generally supply more than enough protein. A well-chosen vegetarian diet can easily meet protein needs.

  • A varied diet that meets energy needs and is based largely on nutrient-rich choices such as vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, cereals, lean meats, fish and dairy foods should ensure an adequate intake of all necessary vitamins and minerals. Excluding any of these food groups means that more careful food choices must be made.

  • Maintaining hydration is important for performance: Fluid intake before, during where appropriate and after exercise is important, especially in hot climates. When sweat losses are high, food and drink consumed will need to contain sufficient water and salt to replace what is lost in the sweat.

  • Players are cautioned against the indiscriminate use of dietary supplements since they may contain undeclared forbidden substances that could trigger a positive doping test.
Hydration Strategies for football

Hydration strategies for football

No other dietary strategies enjoy the reputation as proven performance enhancers as the consumption of water and carbohydrate during exercise. Players can turn this science into optimum performance and well-being by learning the practical aspects of:

  1. What type of foods and drinks
  2. How much of these foods and drinks to consume
  3. When during exercise should these be consumed
  4. What modifications should be made in hot or cold environments


You as a player, your coaches and trainers should "fine-tune" general recommendations for drinking to identify your own winning formula. For example, you should get a feel for your sweating rate during exercise and adjust your drinking practices accordingly.

As you learn to match your intake of fluid and fuel with your exercise energy demand, you will not only run further and faster in the second half of a match, but may help to maintain your skills and judgement when you would otherwise become fatigued. Games are often won and lost in the last minutes of the match and fatigued players are at increased risk of injury.

How much of what and when to drink? When do you need more than water? What is the use of commercial sports drinks with a carbohydrate content of about 4-8%? When do you need to include sodium in your fluids? Do you know how much you should limit weight loss during match play or in training? Are you able to calculate your sweat loss in order to customize your fluid intake? Which will enhance your endurance: a small cup of brewed coffee or 500-750 ml of a cola beverage?

For more information, click here.

Preparation for Your Next Competition

Preparation for your next competition

Like most players, you probably appreciate the need to rest and eat well during the days prior to an important match. But are you sure regarding how much you should eat, what type of food and when is the best time for it? And do you know what to eat during the few hours immediately before competition or intense training?

Carbohydrate is the key energy-providing nutrient that you need to optimise during the days leading up to and including the day of competition. Attention should also be given to optimising water and salt levels in the body. However, during the 2-4 days prior to a competition, a player’s need for protein and fat, as well as most other nutrients, typically does not increase above the levels that are recommended for normal, moderate level training.

So what is carbo-loading? Is this only for bodybuilders and marathon runners - or do you as a footballer benefit from such a preparation? And if yes, how do you do this? When do you need to start? What do you eat?

Have you already found your favourite pre-competition meal that not only provides you with extra energy during the match, but also feels "right" in terms of curbing hunger, quieting your stomach and being convenient and practical? In low key competition, or if you do only little running in a game, the pre-match meal needs not be predominantly carbohydrate. However, if you are an intense competition player, you should eat 1-4 g/kg body weight of carbohydrate during the 6 hours before match or training.

So find out how you avoid the main "mistake" players might make before a match, what and when you should eat and drink with concrete examples: (Preparation for competition, p18-19 nutrition booklet). For more information, click here.

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from the American Physical Therapy Association
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