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Premier League new rules: The football laws changes that make 2019/20 a whole new ball gameEverything you need to know for the 2019/20 season

IFAB – guardians of the Laws of the Game – have introduced a raft of new regulations. Here, BTSport.com takes a closer look at what the move means for the current campaign.

Premier League clubs agreed to introduce VAR for the 2019/20 season, but that is not the only change in play as the new campaign gets underway.

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The International Football Association (IFAB), the governing body that determines the laws of football, has introduced a raft of new rules.

IFAB comprises delegates from FIFA and the UK-based associations (English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish), and the body can propose matters to be discussed at the annual general meeting.

The changes were ratified at IFAB’s general meeting in Aberdeen in March and they came into force on 1 June 2019.

Here, BTSport.com’s essential guide summarises all of the key law changes you need to know about.

Handball

In one of the most notable amendments, any goal scored or created through accidental handball is no longer counted.

The new rule also stipulates that having the hand or arm above shoulder height is rarely a ‘natural’ position and a player is ‘taking a risk’ by having it in that position.

Drop balls

The new IFAB ruling has effectively rendered drop balls obsolete unless the ball touches the referee or another match official. The previous procedure was ‘exploited unfairly’ and often led to an "aggressive confrontation", according to the governing body.

Instead of a drop ball, the last team to touch the ball receives possession. If the game is stopped when the ball is in the penalty area, play resumes with the goalkeeper.

Free kicks

Players on the attacking team are no longer allowed within one yard of a wall containing three or more defenders because "there is no legitimate tactical justification" and their presence is against the "spirit of the game".

Also, when the defending team takes a free-kick in their own penalty area, the ball is in play once the kick is taken. The ball no longer has to leave the penalty area before it can be played again.

Goal celebrations

Yellow and red cards given for ‘illegal’ celebrations (e.g. removing the shirt or jumping into the crowd) won’t be rescinded if the goal is ruled out by VAR.

According to IFAB, the impact on safety and the image of the game is the same as if the goal was awarded.

Goal-kicks

Under the old legislation, the ball was dead until it left the penalty area after a goal-kick was taken.

Now, the ball is in play from the moment it is touched and it can be played before leaving the 18-yard box.

The change "creates a faster and more dynamic restart to the game" and stops the tactic of wasting time when a defender deliberately plays the ball before it leaves the penalty area knowing that the goal-kick will be retaken.

Kick-off

The team that wins the toss can now choose to take the kick-off or which goal to attack. Previously they only had the choice of which goal to attack.

According to IFAB, recent changes have made the kick-off more dynamic (e.g. a goal can be scored directly from the kick-off) so captains winning the toss often ask to take the kick-off.

Quick free-kicks

If the referee is about to issue a card but the non-offending team takes a free-kick quickly and creates a goalscoring opportunity, the referee can delay issuing the card until the next stoppage if the offending team was not distracted by the referee.

IFAB argues that it is "clearly unfair" if a new attack is stopped so the referee can penalise an offender.

However, if the referee has already begun the process of producing a card, the quick free-kick is not allowed.

Substitutions

A player who is being substituted must leave the field by the nearest point on the touchline/goal line.

Previously, players would waste time by leaving slowly at the halfway line. The law has been amended in an attempt to mitigate any time ‘lost’ during substitutions.

Officials

A team official guilty of misconduct is now shown a yellow or red card. If the offender cannot be identified, the senior coach who is in the technical area at the time will be penalised.

Players’ equipment

Multi-coloured and patterned undershirts are allowed if they are the same as the sleeve of the main shirt as "they help match officials’ decision-making".

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