IFFC Rules

Organization of the Competition

1) Organization of the competition is at the sole discretion of the IFFC. Teams will compete in either the Premier League or First Division. The season will be split in two halves (September - December and March - June). Each player will play the other teams in their division once during each half of the season.

2) Teams will refer to the official IFFC website (http://www.iffc-1994.com) for the following information:

  • Official communication of league matters by Exco
  • Complete updated schedules and maps to venues
  • The current standings & results, all yellow/red cards & all goal scorers
  • Their individual team page listing all registered players for the current season
  • On-line player registration

Team Management

3) Each team must designate three team leaders: a chairman, manager and captain. Their responsibilities include:

  • Team communication with the IFFC ExCo, SuperCom,  DisCom and other team leaders, both directly and via the IFFC website
  • Ensuring teams observe and adhere to the schedule, and any amendments thereto
  • All team registration matters
  • Ensuring the team's kit meets IFFC rules
  • Completion of the match report at the end of each game
  • Ensuring that all players are aware of and abide by IFFC rules


4) Matches must be played according to the schedule determined by the IFFC Executive Committee (hereafter referred to as “ExCo”) of the IFFC (“League”). Results from the preceding weekend's fixtures will be posted on the IFFC website by 8 pm each Monday.

5) Matches will normally be played on Saturdays and Sundays and must not start earlier than 09:00. Teams cannot refuse to play at 09:00 nor can they refuse to travel to the allocated ground. At the IFFC's discretion matches may be scheduled on weekday evenings or on public holidays depending on the availability of pitches.

Duration of Matches

6) All League and Cup matches will consist of 2 x 45-minute halves. In the Cup there will be no extra time, and penalties will be taken to decide the outcome of any match that results in a draw at the end of normal time.

7) If penalties are needed to decide a tied Cup match each side will take 5 penalties. If the score is still tied then the outcome of the match will be decided by sudden death penalties.


8) Teams may name up to 7 substitutes for each game. Substituted players may return to the match under the “roll-on, roll-off” system.


9) Final rankings will be determined by the number of points each team has at the end of the season.  In the event of teams having equal number of points then ranking will be determined in the following priority order:

·         The higher goal difference.

·         The league result between the two teams in the second half of the season.

·         The league result between the two teams in the first half of the season.

Promotion & Relegation

10) Each year in towards the end of August (it can NOT be determined and told to the teams before hand) it remains to be seen how many teams continue to participate, leave the IFFC and how many new teams want to join. Therefore, the promotion & relegation plan for the 16/17 Season will be decided at that time.

A. In any case for clubs with a ‘A Team' and a ‘B-Team'.

Clubs who have more than one team in separate divisions in the IFFC may not permit their “B” team to be promoted to a division that also has their “A” team in it, unless their “A” team is relegated that same season.

B. Goal difference will decide:

Where two or more teams have the same points at the end of the season, overall goal difference will determine their final league position. Cup competitions

11) IFFC will organize the Thomas Marechal Cup competition to be played during the whole season. This will be a knock-out format. All the games are arranged according to the result of a draw and no team is seeded.

12) IFFC will also organize the Robert Gonnella 7 aside Tournament beginning of June before the Awards Ceremony. All the IFFC teams are welcome to participate and meet for a last competition in a friendly atmosphere before the holidays.

Team Colors

13) Team colors will be posted on the IFFC website and it is the responsibility of individual teams to inform the ExCo of any changes in their color scheme.

14) All team players must have matching shirts, shorts and socks. All team captains must wear a captain's armband. The numbers of all players must be clearly indicated on the back of their jerseys.

15) It is the responsibility of the Home Team (first named team on the fixture list posted on the League website) to ensure that there is no similarity of colors between the teams and the home team must change shirts if the colors are similar.

Non-appearance of Team

16) Failure to have at least 8 players ready to start the match no more than 15 minutes after the scheduled kick off time shall be deemed as failure to appear and the offending team shall be subject to a fine and disciplinary measures as indicated under the Disciplinary Guidelines. In addition teams failing to appear in one or more games during a season will automatically have their conduct reviewed.

17) Any team not appearing for a scheduled match without the prior agreement of ExCo will be deemed to have lost the match 0-6, will pay for the cost of the pitch, match officials and opposition expenses. If the captains of both teams agree to still play the game in the event of one team being more than 15 minutes late, then they have to agree on whether the existing 6-0 advantage for the team that turned up on time stands or not. If both captains agree to start the game from 0-0 then they must clearly indicate this to the IFFC 4th official on the team sheet before the game commences.

18) If a team has more than 3 non-appearance matches during a season then they may face expulsion, in which case all remaining unplayed matches will be counted as a 0-6 loss.
However if a team drops out during the first part of the season (September to December) then all matches will be regarded 0:6 to the opponent.

Abandoned Matches

19) Teams are responsible for the actions of their players, supporters and people associated with their team. If the actions of a player, supporter or person associated with the particular team results in the abandonment of a game by the referee or match official, then that team bears full responsibility, financial and otherwise. The team that is responsible for the abandonment will forfeit the match 0-6.

20) Both teams are still responsible for paying their match fees before leaving the pitch or may be subject to disciplinary action in case of non-payment.

21) If a match is abandoned for any reason both teams must e-mail a report to the ExCo within 48 hours following the scheduled kick off. Depending on the cause of the abandonment, disciplinary action may be taken including the payment of all costs by any offending team and possibly the suspension of a team(s)/player(s) from the League.

Inclement Weather

22) If due to inclement weather there is doubt as to whether a match is to be played, both teams must check with the ExCo to see if the ground they are scheduled to use is officially closed.

23) If the ground is not closed both teams must go to the pitch and the rule on “non-appearance” will apply if one team fails to have enough players present to play the match. This rule on “non-appearance” will apply even if no match officials are present or if the referee or ground staff subsequently decide that the match cannot be played.

Pollution Policy

24) In the league we have 2 types of teams: TYPE C and TYPE P

TYPE C: if the pollution level is higher than 300 2 hours before the game kicks off, the “TYPE C” teams prefer that IFFC cancels the game.
TYPE P: if the pollution level is higher than 300 2 hours before the game kicks off, the “TYPE P” teams prefer that IFFC maintains the game.

Scenario 1: TYPE C V.S TYPE C =) game cancelled

Scenario 2: TYPE P V.S TYPE P =) game cancelled

Scenario 3: TYPE P V.S TYPE P =) game maintained

For any game cancelled due to pollution, both teams (type C and type P) will share the cost of the pitch fees equally (500 / team in Lidu and 425 / team in Dulwich).

25) Two hours before the game kicks off IFFC officials will:
Check the level of pollution here http://aqicn.org/city/beijing/dongsihuanbeilu/
Contact the team leaders to inform them if the game is cancelled or not according to scenarios above (1/2/3)
Only IFFC officials can decide if the game is cancelled or not and it is the team leaders' responsibility to inform their players.  

26) If a game is cancelled due to pollution, then IFFC Exco will consult each team leader and send an e-mail to both teams with 3 options. Within 1 week of receiving the mail, each team must choose 2 options and IFFC Exco will decide which option is the most suitable for both teams. In the event that a team fails to choose 2 options before the deadline, then the team will forfeit the game. In case both teams fail to choose 2 options meeting the deadline then both teams will forfeit the game.

27) Season 2019/2020
TYPE C teams in Premier League: Afrika Utd. / Beijing Barbarians A / Beijing Celtic / Forbidden City / French LE / Anejo FC / Beijing Rockets
TYPE P teams in Premier League: Sexy FC / Origin FC
TYPE C teams in First Division: Anejo Gran Reserva / Beijing Barbarians B / Beijing Dragon FC / Celtic Beijing / China ClubFootball / Chaoyang Park Rangers / Red Cards / Summer Palace
TYPE P teams in First Division: Too Sexy / Beijing Vikings

Non-appearance of Match Officials

28) If for any reason only two match officials are present for a match they will either referee one half of the pitch each or arrange for a representative from one of the teams or a spectator to be an assistant referee.

29) If there is only one match official present each team will either provide one assistant referee or arrange for a spectator to be an assistant referee.

30) If no match officials are present, both teams must make every effort to play the match by arranging for one or more representatives from the teams or for spectators to officiate. Both teams must agree to the relevant arrangement before the match begins. Match fees may also be waived for both teams. If both sides do not agree then the match will be rescheduled.

31) If both sides agree to a team representative or spectator refereeing the match, the League shall consider that person authorized with all the powers of a referee, and all rules, including those concerning disputes with officials, will apply.  

Registration of Players

32) Team leaders must ensure that all players on their squad are properly registered. The sole responsibility for checking whether or not a player is able to register, is properly registered or is eligible to play in the League, rests entirely with the individual team management. Any team submitting a Team Sheet listing a player who is not eligible to be registered will be subject to measures as indicated under the disciplinary guidelines, and such measures will apply in respect of every occasion on which a team sheet is submitted. Any decision as to whether or not to register a player for a particular team rests entirely with the team management and the consequences of registering an ineligible player will be borne by the team as a whole.

33) Before the start of the season, each player should register only 1 time on the IFFC website in the ‘Player Registration' section. If a player wants to play in a team in Premier League and a team in First Division he should select these 2 teams in the on-line registration process and this player will be automatically officially registered in the team of First Division but the statistics for the player will be available for both teams. After discussing with his team leader, each player should decide for which team he will play in the Cup and choose the name of this team in the registration process too. As soon as IFFC Exco receives a on-line registration requirement from a player, IFFC Exco will ask the team leader to confirm by e-mail that this player is allowed to register in their team. After IFFC Exco receives the confirmation from the team leader, the player will be put on the Registered List of the related team and the player's information will be available on the IFFC website.

34) The IFFC ExCo will not produce official player pass for every player anymore. The IFFC officials will bring 2 lists of players for each team before each game: the Registered List and the Pending List. All the players who are completely registered in a team will be on the Registered List and will be allowed to play. The weekly deadline for on-line registration is Friday at 1 pm. It means that the team leader must have confirmed an on-line registration requirement from a player before 1 pm on Fridays.  Any player who played 1 game this season in any team but has not completed the on-line registration will be put on the Pending List and will not be allowed to play before he has completed the on-line registration. A player can be on up to 3 Registered Lists: 1 team of Premier League, 1 team of First Division and 1 team in the Cup.

35) In keeping with the amateur nature of the league, no team shall pay players for playing for a team or offer them any form of financial inducement. Any player who has played professional or semi-professional football over the last 12 months is not eligible to register or play in the IFFC.

36) Any breach of the eligibility rules shall be dealt with by the Disciplinary Sub Committee, as it sees fit.

37) Cup-tie rule: A player can only play for ONE team (rather than one Club) in the Cup competition even if they transfer during the winter break.

38) Before each game commences team captains must notify match officials of any new players in their team roster. Any player that is not on the Registered List and Pending List will have to write his full name and sign on the match report in front of the IFFC Official and the IFFC official is allowed to take a picture of the new player. Then, the new player will be allowed to play 1 game in Premier League and 1 game in First Division in the same weekend before being completely registered on-line.

39) Team rosters can be viewed on the IFFC website. It's the team leaders' responsibility to assure that new players have not been registered with another team in the current season.  

Player Transfers

40) Players may only transfer from one IFFC team to another before the start of the new season or during the winter break.

41) Players registered with a First Division team may also concurrently play for ONE team in the Premier League during a half season. In order to play in the Premier League players registered with a First Division team must also register on-line for the Premier League team. No player registered in the higher division (Premiership) may play in a lower division team (First Division) at the same time.

42) For clubs with more than one team, the “A” team must have a minimum of 11 players registered. These 11 players may not play in “B” team matches during the half-season they are registered as an “A” team player.  


43) All players agree to play at their own risk. Referees are instructed not to allow players to play unless they are wearing shin pads and if a team cannot field enough players with shin pads then the rule of “non-attendance” will apply. If a player disregards their shin guards during the match, they will receive a yellow card.

44) IFFC Match Report: Each team must complete their team roster and hand this to the Referee or one of their Assistants before the start of a match. Referees have been instructed not to start a match until after they have been given the filled in Team.

45) After a match, both team leaders must sign the Team Sheet from the Referee and ensure that the Referee has correctly filled in the details of any Red and Yellow Cards given to both teams on the Team Sheet, as well as confirming that the goal scorers have been correctly logged

46) In appraising the performance of the Linesman, Linesman #1 is the one on the near side of the pitch next to the scorer's table and Linesman #2 is the one on the opposite side of the pitch.

47) Errors on the Team Sheet or failure to complete the date, name of the competition (i.e., League or Cup), opposition, number of players starting both halves or to obtain the relevant signatures will lead to a te0m being fined as indicated under the Disciplinary Guidelines.

48) Any complaints or incidents of note must first be reported by telephone or e-mail by teams to the ExCo and followed up by a written report no later than 48 hours after the scheduled start of the match.  


49) IFFC expects all teams and players to abide by the IFFC Rules and FIFA rules of Fair Play.

50) The team captain is responsible for trying to ensure that no member of their team, including supporters, argues with the match officials or shows dissent at their decisions and the team captain must take quick action to stop any dissent that occurs from members of his or her team.

51) The team captain is responsible for making sure that his or her players comply with the rules of the game and in particular he must take quick action to stop any of their players who are involved in violent conduct or verbal or physical abuse, even if such abuse is only directed at their  own team's players.

52) When a violent incident or other disturbance occurs during a match teams must not attempt to influence match officials. Any teams found to have done this will be deemed to have committed a serious breach of the Regulations and may be suspended from the League and ultimately be subject to expulsion.

53) All cases of serious misconduct (eg. fighting, striking or spitting at an opponent) by teams, their supporters or individuals reported by the Referee will be subject to measures under the Disciplinary Guidelines. Both Team leaders must submit a report to the ExCo within 48 hours of the match.  Team leaders and the individuals concerned may be required to appear before the Disciplinary Committee.

54) IFFC will not tolerate oral or physical abuse of match officials, ExCo members and paid IFFC employees. Such behavior will result in measures set out in the Disciplinary Guidelines.

55) For every player who receives a yellow or red card he or she will be fined and suspended in accordance with the Disciplinary Guidelines set by the Disciplinary Committee. Teams must keep their own record of their players' disciplinary offences and they must automatically suspend their own player. Fines will be taken from the team's deposit.

56) A player will be suspended one match after 5 yellow cards and every subsequent 5 thereafter. Cup and league matches are considered combined for the total. Teams cannot appeal against the receipt of five yellow cards by a player.

57) Two yellow cards served to a player in a match will be counted as a red card. The player will be banned for one game. The yellow cards will not be counted as part of the season's yellow card total.

58) In the case that a player is served a straight red card after receiving a yellow card then the yellow card will be part of the player's cumulative yellow card total. The player will serve a suspension for the red card. If that player has accumulated 5, 10, 15, or 20 yellow cards then he will serve one further game suspension.

59) The referee will clearly state on the match report if the red card is a straight red card or a yellow-red card.

60) Disciplinary fines imposed on a team or its players are published on the League website and will be deducted from a team's deposit.

Disputes with Officials

61) The decisions of the Referee and match officials during the match are final. Dissent will be considered a serious breach of discipline.

62) If a team wishes retrospectively to dispute the decisions of the officials or to report on their conduct, it must submit a written report to the ExCo within 48 hours of the scheduled start of the match. Supporting evidence from both teams as well evidence from a neutral party having witnessed the incident must accompany the report in order for the ExCo to investigate further.  

Behavior of supporters

63) Supporters, substitutes and/or others may not enter the pitch during the match without permission. Apart from the 11 active players on each team, people (team officials, substitutes and/or anyone else connected with a team) may only enter the pitch during a match with the referee's and/or IFFC league official's specific permission.

64) Teams in violation of the this ruling may be fined a minimum 1000RMB, have points deducted, or even be subject to expulsion from the league depending on the severity of the offence.  

Team Suspension

65) A team suspended by ExCo will remain suspended until such time as ExCo is satisfied that the team should be allowed to continue playing, or until such time as a General Meeting decides whether or not to dismiss that team from the League. Should a team be expelled, or withdraw voluntarily from the League, at the end of the season two teams would normally be relegated from Divisions 1, 2 and 3 and the requisite number of teams would be promoted from Division 2, and 3 to achieve the required number of teams in each division. Should a team be suspended or withdraw from the League having played 11 or fewer league games, all of their games will be rendered null and void. Should a team be suspended or withdraw after playing more than 11 league games, their remaining league games will be awarded to the opposition with a 6-0 score-line. Should a team be expelled from the League whilst still in the Cup competition, their place in the Cup competition will be taken by the team they beat in the previous round.  

Disciplinary Procedures

66) The DisCom (disciplinary committee) will be formed according to the IFFC Statutes and have three members, each with a single and equal vote. DisCom members will consider cases coming before the committee in accordance with the Disciplinary Guidelines at Annex 1.

67) Any person or team asked by the DisCom to attend a disciplinary hearing is required to attend the hearing and any person representing the team must be one of the officials responsible for the team when the incident under consideration occurred. Normally, a maximum of two representatives per team will be allowed to make their case.

68) DisCom decisions will be made after the hearing and published via the league website within 48 hours.


69) An appeal against any disciplinary decision must be made in writing and sent to and received by the ExCo within 48 hours of the team or player being made aware of the original disciplinary decision. Any appeal should have new evidence of the case which will be determined by the ExCo to be a plausible appeal case. In case of the ExCo's agreement for an appeal case, the ExCo will pass on the appeal case to the DisCom “to consider” or may reject the appeal and send an explanation why the appeal was rejected to the appealing team. Any appeal “to be considered” or “rejected” by the ExCo must be clearly stated under the DisCom case in the IFFC official website at the IFFC DisCom section of the current season.

70) “To be considered” cases the Disciplinary Committee as a first step shall review their decision based on a request by the ExCo and review any further or new information submitted.

71) Appeal decisions ruled by the ExCo as “rejected” or the final Disciplinary Committee rulings upon any appeal are final.  


72) Each team must cover the following expenses when participating in the IFFC:
Team Registration: RMB 1,000 per team per season; paid before the start of the new season
Player Registration: RMB 100 per player per season; paid before the first match played.
Deposit: RMB 2,000 per team for regular IFFC teams per season, the deposit is 4.000RMB for any teams who had financial problems in the previous season or any new team joining the IFFC; paid before the start of the new season. If a team's deposit drops under RMB 500 during the season extra fees must be paid immediately so that the deposit is back up to RMB2000.

Match Fees

73) The following match fees shall apply:
RMB 1000 per match per team in Lidu; RMB 850 per match per team in Dulwich School; RMB 450 per match per team in case the pitch is free (WAB, Dulwich, ISB).
If floodlights are required, expect an additional RMB 300 (RMB 150 per team) to be required to cover lighting costs. If flood lights are needed as a result of a postponed game, the team responsible for the postponement will be required to pay the full RMB 300 lighting fee.
Each time a match is changed, the team responsible for the match change must pay an extra 300RMB “Match Change Fee”.

74) Match fees must be paid must be paid on match day before the match. If a team fails to pay those match fees, then the team cannot commence their next match until all outstanding fees have been paid. A ruling of 0-6 will apply if a team fails to pay such arrears.


75) These rules are published in the English language only and if translations into Chinese are made they are to be considered unofficial. ExCo has the power to interpret the meaning of rules and to amend them during the season in the interest of better management of the League. However before any amendments of rules can be carried over to the next season they must be the subject to the approval of the IFFC Supervisory Committee.


76) The IFFC administration can be contacted as follows:
IFFC Organizers/ExCo: iffc1994@gmail.com

Annex 1: Disciplinary Guidelines

The following guidelines constitute an indication of the action that may be taken by ExCo or the DisCom in respect of breaches of discipline These guidelines and rules are subject to regular review by ExCo and the IFFC Supervisory Committee, and may be updated or amended during the winter and summer breaks without consulting to the member clubs. Any changes will be communicated to members and clubs via the IFFC website.

ExCo reserves the right to set the levels of punishment for any player or team for any breach of the rules at levels beyond those of the Disciplinary Guidelines. This includes the suspension or banning of players and also the suspension of teams.

ExCo also reserves the right to vary a punishment in cases that have a direct bearing on promotion, relegation or prizes by taking into consideration whether or not the rules were broken for the purposes of obtaining an unfair advantage.

Non-Appearance of Teams

Any team failing to appear for a scheduled match without the agreement of the IFFC ExCo will be deemed to have lost the match 0-6, and will be required to pay full match fees, which includes officials and the opposition's match fees.

Player Eligibility

If any ineligible player is found to have played in any official game they will be referred to the DisCom who will consider sanctions which may include, up to a three points deduction, a 0:6 loss and fines up to 1,000RMB against the responsible club.

Team Sheets

Teams and referees who receive poor consecutive grading on the team sheet will be subjected to a performance appraisal by the Disciplinary Sub Committee.

Yellow and Red Cards

A. For players who just for play one team in the IFFC:

Any player receiving a yellow card receives a fine of RMB 10.

Any player receiving a 5th yellow card during the season will serve one match suspension.

Any player receiving a red card automatically receives an immediate minimum one-match suspension and a fine of RMB100.

Any player receiving two yellow cards in one match automatically receives a one match suspension and a fine of RMB100.

Any player receiving a yellow card and then later in the match receives a direct red card automatically receives a one match suspension and a fine of RMB110 (RMB 100 + RMB 10).

B. For players who play for 2 teams in the IFFC (lower Division player, plays in the higher Division)

Any player receiving a yellow card receives a fine of RMB 10, recorded against the team for which they were playing at the time.

Any player receiving a 5th yellow card during the season will serve a one match suspension for both teams he plays for.

Any player receiving a direct red card or two yellows in the same match automatically receives an immediate minimum one-match suspension for both teams he plays for and a fine of RMB100.

Any player receiving a yellow card first and then a direct red card automatically receives a one match suspension for both teams he plays and a fine of RMB110.

Any suspension handed out by the IFFC DisCom will apply equally to both teams the player is registered with for the duration of the suspension.

Teams are responsible for suspending their player in case of yellow or red card suspensions. It is the responsibility of the IFFC to update the website's red and yellow card history and discipline record of all teams and players. This record will be the defining reference for all teams to refer to in finding out how many yellow cards and red cards their players have accumulated.

Any player found guilty of serious foul play, as defined by F.I.F.A., will be subject to a further suspension of at least one match in addition to the automatic one-match suspension.

Any player found guilty of violent conduct, as defined by F.I.F.A., will be subject to a further suspension of at least two matches in addition to the automatic one-match suspension


Any player found guilty of fighting, including hitting and spitting, will be suspended for a minimum of three matches and fined RMB 500.

Any player found guilty of a second offense of fighting, including hitting and spitting, shall be automatically banned from the league.

Any teams found to have been involved in a prolonged period of fighting without intervention from the team management to stop the incident may be subject to suspension from the League or expulsion from the league. That team will also forfeit their deposit.

Any teams found to have been involved in fighting, but where it can be clearly shown that the team management intervened to stop the incident may be subject to a fine of RMB1,000 and may be placed on probation. Individual players involved in the incident should be identified by the team management so that appropriate disciplinary action can be taken in accordance with these guidelines.

A group fight shall be defined as a group of 3 or more players or spectators of 1 team involved in a violent exchange.

As a minimum the punishment for a group fight shall incorporate the individual penalties plus a deduction of a minimum of 6 points from the team in the championship on top of the game in question. The points deduction shall be effective for the league competition whether or not the fight takes place during a league or cup fixture.

Assaults on Officials

The Disciplinary Sub Committee will handle any cases of assault on IFFC Officials, and the following guidelines will apply.

Any player or team official found guilty of any form of intimidation including oral, written or other non-physical abuse of any League or match official at any time will be subject to a suspension of two matches and a fine of a minimum of RMB500.

Any player or team official found guilty of physical abuse of any League or match official will be subject to a suspension of between three years to life and/or a fine of a minimum of RMB1,000.

Abuse of IFFC website
Any vulgar, offensive or insulting language/comments by team leaders or registered players towards the IFFC, IFFC officials, referees and/or opponents will be subject to the Disciplinary Sub Committee and the responsible parties will be fined a minimum RMB500. Teams are responsible to distancing themselves from insulting comments including those posted in the Guestbook.

The rules 16/17 Season have been adjusted by the IFFC Exco in October 2016.