New Premier League rules for the season ahead
Ahead of the 2016/17 season, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have made nearly 100 alterations to the game which will come into force in the Premier League for the first time.
It follows the FA Cup allowing an extra substitution in the three final rounds if they go to extra-time on the recommendation of IFAB.
The biggest changes will be concerning players surrounding and abusing the referee.
Anyone running to contest a decision, arguing face-to-face with officials and players using ‘visibly disrespectful’ actions will be booked. Players will also be sent off for confronting officials and using insulting/offensive language or gestures.
Has the offside rule changed?
Partially. The halfway line is now neutral, meaning to be offside you must have a part of your body (expect hands or arms) inside the opposition half.
Free-kicks awarded for offside must also now be taken from the spot of the offence.
Can you stop in a penalty run-up?
You can stutter but you can’t stop. A penalty-taker who slows to a stop before shooting will now be booked and an indirect free-kick awarded to the opposition.
How has the kick-off changed?
Previous laws meant you had to move the ball forward into the opposition half from kick-off, typically with two people standing over the restart.
But now the ball can be kicked straight back – as it was at Euro 2016.
Can you now be sent off before kick-off?
Yes. Referees can now send players off in the tunnel or even earlier if a red-card offence is committed outside of the 90 minutes.
The period in which players can be sent off will now start at the referee’s pre-match inspection and end when he leaves the field after the final whistle.
Can you be sent off after conceding a penalty?
Not any more. Teams will no longer be triple-punished for an accidental foul in the box that results in a red card and therefore a suspension.
An accidental foul that denies a goal-scoring opportunity in the penalty area will only result in a yellow card. The penalty effectively restores the goal-scoring opportunity so a red card is seen as too strong a punishment.
A deliberate foul or a handball however will still result in a straight red.
Do players still have to leave the field for treatment?
No. If a player is fouled and requires treatment as a result of a yellow-card or red-card challenge, they will not need to leave the field to be seen to by a physio or doctor.
Can the fourth official let players return to the field of play?
If a player leaves the field to change his boots, the fourth official may check his new equipment before allowing him back onto the pitch.
Before the referee had to come over and permit his return.
Can managers give away a free-kick?
Yes! Free-kicks and even penalties can now be awarded if members of the team, playing or non-playing, off the field of play cause the game to be stopped.