Referee writes in pad

Laws of the Game Changes

The 133rd AGM of The International FA Board (The IFAB) on 2 March 2019 approved a number of amendments to, and clarifications of, the Laws of the Game for 2019/20.

Three changes were approved 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 the kick is taken (it can be played before it leaves the penalty area)

Other changes include: clearer wording for ‘handball’, attacking team players must be at least 1m away from a 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).

The document below summarises the main changes only – a more detailed version with the exact text of all the changes may be found in the document ‘Laws of the Game 2019-20 – Changes and clarifications’ on The IFAB’s website.

All changes come into force on 1 June 2019. 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.


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