Before we get caught up in the transfer frenzy, UEFA has implemented new rules with the start of the EURO 2016 and is testing how new and updated laws on red cards, offside and free kicks will improve the game.
After an 18-month review, the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) review has come up with several modifications to the game to make it fairer and more fun to watch.
Logos allowed on corner flags (previously banned).
All advertising on the ground needs to be at least 1 meter away from the boundary lines.
Artificial and natural surfaces may not be combined on the field.
Amon other modifications, the ball can now be moved in any direction from the kick-off rather than only moving forward; and a player who is injured by a challenge punished by a yellow/red card can now have a quick assessment/treatment on the field.
See the most important changes and new additions to Laws of the Game below:
Law 1 – the field of play
Law 3 – the players
A match may not start/continue if a team has fewer than 7 players.
If a substitute, sent-off player or match official interferes with play, causing the game to be stopped, a direct free-kick or penalty takes place (previously indirect free-kick or drop-ball).
If a goal is scored with an extra person on the field and referee has restarted play, the referee can apply the advantage rule and award a goal.
If a substitute, team official or outside agent stops a ball going into the goal, the referee can award the goal if the touch had no impact on the defenders.
Law 4 – the players’ equipment
Any tape or other material on/covering socks must be same colour as the sock.
Player losing footwear/shinguard accidentally can play on until next stoppage.
Undershorts must be the same colour as shorts or hem.
Any electronic communication with substitutes is forbidden.
Player can return during play after changing/correcting equipment, once equipment has been checked and referee signals.
Law 5 – the referee
Referees can now take action from when they enter the field of play for the pre-match inspection, not only from the start of the game – players could be sent off for an offence committed while warming up. But yellow cards can only be issued from the start of the match.
If several offences occur at the same time the most serious is punished.
Players injured by opponents who are then sent off do not need to leave the pitch for treatment.
Law 7 – duration of the match
More reasons for additional time (such as time taken for drinks breaks).
Law 8 – the start and restart of play
The ball no longer has to move forward at a kick-off – it just has to move for the game to start.
Referees should not ‘manufacture’ dropped ball situations, in terms of who takes them, or the outcome.
Law 10 – Determining the outcome of a match
Referee will toss a coin to choose the goal for penalties (unless weather, safety, etc.).
Both teams must have same number of players before and during the kicks.
Law 11 – offside
Hands and arms are not included when judging offside.
Halfway line ‘neutral’ for offside, player must be in opponents’ half.
Free-kicks for offside can be taken from where the offside player received the ball.
Law 12 – fouls and misconduct
Foul with contact means a direct free kick.
Change of wording for handball so that not every handball is a yellow card.
Attempted violent conduct is a red card, even if there is no contact.
Striking on head/face when not challenging an opponent is a direct red card.
Offence against substitutes, team officials, match officials etc. is now a direct free kick.
Foul off the field is penalised with a direct free kick on boundary line (penalty in own penalty area).
A free-kick or penalty can only be awarded while the ball is in play.
Law 13 – free-kicks
When fouls are committed off the pitch when the ball is in play, the match is restarted with a free-kick on the touchline nearest where the incident occurred. A direct free-kick will be awarded for direct free-kick offences – and a penalty could be awarded if it happens parallel to the penalty area.
Law 14 – the penalty kick
Players who feint to kick the ball once they have taken a run-up when taking a penalty will get booked for unsporting behaviour. Feinting in the run-up is allowed.
Goalkeepers who come off their line too early will also be booked.
Law 15 – the throw-in
New wording makes it clear that ball must be thrown with both hands.
Law 17 – the corner kick
The wording has been changed in the laws to say: “The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves.” This is to stop players “unsportingly” touching the ball and pretending the corner has not been taken, to gain an advantage.