The International FA Board are set to make a number of rule changes ahead of the 2019/20 season, in an attempt to combat timewasting and cheating.
Ifab have agreed to bring in a number of amendments to the rules next season, which we will detail below.
Fouls for certain non-deliberate handballs
Currently, only deliberate handballs should be penalised. The change in the law means that non-deliberate handballs which provide a clear advantage to the team committing the offence will be penalised in certain circumstances.
Combined with the introduction of VAR, we’re unlikely to see so many handball goals like Javier Hernandez’s recent effort.
Attacking players banned from going in the wall at free-kicks
From next season, attacking players won’t be allowed within one metre of the defensive wall for free-kicks.
Substituted players must leave the field via the nearest touchline
It’s a running joke that when your team is down 1-0 and the opponents line up a substitution, it’s always the guy in the very far corner of the pitch being taken off. The rule change will force that player to leave the field at the nearest touchline.
A revamp of the dropped ball system
The ball will now be dropped to a player from the team which had possession before the break in play, with opponents made to stay four metres away. This will prevent the scenario where you’re in attack, a player goes down and the opposition kick the ball all the way back to your goalkeeper from the drop ball.
Goalkeepers only have to have one foot on the line for penalties
This one is fairly self-explanatory, and it’s apparently aimed at helping goalkeepers react to stutter-step penalties, whilst also making spot-kicks easier to officiate.
Goal kicks no longer have to leave the penalty area
Goal kicks and free kicks in the area no longer have to leave it before the ball can be played. This should make it easier for a team like Arsenal to play out from the back and avoid a scenario we’ve seen plenty of times this season where the goalkeeper is forced to retake and waste time.
Red and yellow cards to be shown to dissenting team officials
Again, this one is pretty self-explanatory. Rather than just being sent to the stands, team officials will get red and yellow cards just like the players.
Hopefully, getting rid of some of the more obvious timewasting and underhand tactics should help Arsenal, as the Gunners are more often the side on the end of it.