Changes to the Laws of the Game

Changes to the Laws of the Game

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Each year, IFAB, the custodians of the laws within our sport make a number of changes or clarifications and we have summarised below the key ones for the 2020/21 season.

  • Law 10 - Determining the Outcome of a Match -
    Yellow cards and warnings are no longer carried into a penalty shootout;
  • Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct -
    The area of the arm from the top of the shoulder down to level with the armpit is no longer classified as handball;
    ‘accidental’ handball by an attacking player (or team-mate) is only penalised if it occurs ‘immediately’ before a goal or clear goal-scoring opportunity;
    Any offence (not only a foul) which ‘interferes with or stops a promising attack’ should result in a yellow card;
    A player who fails to respect the 4m required distance at a dropped ball should receive a yellow card; 
    If the referee plays advantage or allows a ‘quick’ free kick for an offence which ‘interfered with or stopped a promising attack’, the yellow card is not issued;
  • Law 14 - The Penalty Kick - 
    An offence by the goalkeeper is not penalised if a penalty kick misses the goal or rebounds from the goal (without a touch from the goalkeeper) unless the offence clearly affected the kicker
    The goalkeeper is warned for the first offence butit is a yellow card for any further offence(s);
    The kicker is penalised if the goalkeeper and the kicker offend at exactly the same time;

For more detailed explanation of these law changes coming into effect, you can visit the IFAB website and read their supporting documents.

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