With the 2019/20 Premier League season beckoning after the conclusion of a thrilling one that saw Man City reclaim the title, the International Football Association (IFAB ) has announced new rules that will guide the league.
The rules, ranging from handballs, dropballs and even substitutions are intended to minimise or even end controversies that often arise every week after matches.
The new changes have since been approved by IFAB under the Laws of the Game and will take effect next season.
IFAB has ruled that goals scored after hitting the attacker’s arm in the build-up (be it accidental or otherwise) will now not count.
Further, the defending side will win a free-kick if an inadvertent handball creates an advantage for the opposing team.
According to IFAB, old-fashioned drop balls will now be a thing of the past, with the process of sending the ball back to the last team in possession now the standard procedure.
IFAB contends that the current dropped ball procedure often creates an unfair advantage.
“Returning the ball to the team that last played it restores what was ‘lost’ when play was stopped, except in the penalty area where it is simpler to return the ball to the goalkeeper,” IFAB explained.
“To prevent that team gaining an unfair advantage, all players of both teams, except the player receiving the ball, must be at least 4m (4.5 yds) away,” the governing body added.
IFAB has ruled that players will no longer have to exit the pitch near the dugouts whenever substituted.
Instead, they must leave at the nearest point. The move is aimed at avoiding time-wasting, a tactic often employed by players to buy time.
From next season, attackers will no not be allowed in the wall during free-kicks.
“There is no legitimate tactical justification for attackers to be in the ‘wall’ and their presence is against the ‘spirit of the game’ and often damages the image of the game,” a statement by IFAB submitted.
Traditionally, goalkeepers have to stay on the line during penalties, but rarely this is enforced fully.
But IFAB has now directed that keepers must have one foot on the line.
Interestingly, they are also forbidden from tapping the posts before the kicks, as this will be regarded as mind games.
Cards for coaches and technical bench
Finally, referess will now be able to brandish yellow and red cards to managers and the backroom staff in the event of misconduct.