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Changes to playing rules comes into effect on June 1st

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Beginning June 1, football as we know it will change. That is because FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have changed significant amount of the playing rules of the glorious game.

In an 11-page document issued in March, following the 133rd Annual General Meeting of the IFAB in Aberdeen, Scotland, the amendments and clarifications of the Laws of the Game for 2019/2020 were disclosed.

The following three changes were made following two years of worldwide experiments:

  •   The introduction of yellow and red cards for misconduct by team officials.
  •   A player being substituted leaving the field at the nearest point on the boundary line
  •   At a goal kick and a free kick for the defending team in their own penalty area, the ball is in play as soon as the kick is taken. Play can resume before it leaves the penalty area.

Other changes made include clearer wording for handball; attacking team players must be at least one metre away from the defensive wall; the goalkeeper only has to have one foot on the goal line at a penalty kick; and a new dropped ball procedure, including a dropped ball being awarded if the ball hits a match official and goes into the goal, team possession changes or a promising attack starts.

According to the IFAB document, all changes come into effect on June 1.

“Competitions starting before that date may apply the changes from the start of their competition, at an agreed point during the competition (e.g. after the mid-season break) or may delay them until no later than the start of the next competition,” the document read.

Additionally, the IFAB and FIFA reminded athletes and officials involved in the game of two very important aspects:

  1.        Captains are reminded that the Laws of the Game state that they have “a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of their team” and are expected to use this responsibility to help positively influence the behaviour of other players, especially in confrontational situations.
  2.        Players are also reminded that they must respect all decisions made by the referee and match officials.

The documents Laws of the Game 2019-20 and Changes and Clarifications are available for download on the IFAB’s website. http://www.theifab.com/

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