After one of the best title races in years, Manchester City won the 2018-19 English Premier League. It was another season of agony and ecstasy with plenty of twists and turns. The transfer window is now in full flow and the fixtures of the coming 2019/20 season will be announced on June 13 and the season will begin from August 10th.
Premier League is set for some rule changes next season after the IFAB (International Football Association Board) approved a number of amendments and clarifications to the current Laws of the game. In a world of changing technology, this is not the first time that the rules of the beautiful game have been tweaked and it probably won’t be the last as administrators continue to figure out the best way to get transparency in the game. The changes will be applicable from June 1, 2019.
From disallowed goals to gesturing goalkeepers, let’s take a look at the changes introduced in Premier League matches for the coming 2019/20 season.
With any luck, these should tighten up the games grey areas.
RULE 1 – SUBSTITUTIONS
To curb time-wasting, players will have to leave the pitch at the nearest point to them. While few would deny a tired player a round of applause when they leave the field of play, the prolonged amount of time it often takes substituted players to leave the pitch is a common source of frustration to fans. This is an attempt to prevent players from slowly walking the length of the pitch before being taken off.
RULE 2 – FREE-KICK WALLS
Attacking teams will no longer be allowed to have a player lining up in a defensive wall as, when a wall of three or more players is constructed, an attacking player will not be allowed to stand within one metre. The change has been made as an attacking player’s presence in a wall is not deemed to be within the ‘spirit of the game’.
RULE 3 – DROP BALLS
The drop ball rule has been a bit of mystery for quite some time, but it now looks to be a thing of the past. Next season we will not be seeing any contested drop balls and the ball will simply be returned to the team who last touched the ball before play was halted. If the game was stopped in the penalty area then the ball will be given to the goalkeeper.
Rule 4 – PENALTIES
It’s not all good news for goalkeepers, however. Officials will be much more stringent when it comes to penalty kicks next season as keepers must have at least part of one foot on or in line with the goal-line when the spot kick is taken. So, no touching of the goal frame, no movement, one part of boot touching goal-line when the penalty is taken, no standing behind the line for the goalkeeper.
Rule 5 – ACCIDENTAL HANDBALLS
A goal scored directly from the hand/arm (even if accidental) and a player creating a goalscoring opportunity after having gained control of the ball using hand/arm (even if accidental) will no longer be allowed. In cases where the ball accidentally strikes a player’s hand before crossing over the line and, if a player has accidentally handed the ball and created an advantage or subsequently scores, they will be penalised with a free kick.
Rule 6 – Yellow and Red Cards for Managers
The more outspoken managers in the league will have to watch themselves next season, as they will be punished in the same manner as their players for testing the patience of officials. Managers will be awarded yellow and red cards for any poor behaviour on the touchline and if in the event of a touchline disturbance, for example, the offending individual cannot be identified for punishment, the senior coach who is in the technical area will be the default recipient.