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The major changes to the Law of the game

The major changes to the Law of the game

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has published changes to the laws of the game for the 2016/17 season, the most notable altering sending-off offences inside the penalty area. IFAB has made a total of 96 changes to the Law of the game, but we will highlight the most important for the amateur level. Especially here in New Jersey.

The previous ‘triple-punishment’ rule meant that a player who denied a goal-scoring opportunity was automatically red-carded and handed a suspension, as well as giving away a penalty. However, the law has now changed so that players committing accidental fouls, that deny a goal-scoring opportunity, are not automatically sent off, but cautioned instead. Players will still be sent off for holding, pulling or pushing, not playing the ball or having no possibility to play the ball, serious foul play, violent conduct or deliberate handball.

The new laws also state the ball will be able to move in any direction from kick-off, rather than only move forward.




Players who are injured by a challenge punishable by a yellow or red card can now have quick treatment on the field, rather than having to leave, which previously gave the offending team temporary numerical advantage.

You can check all the Law of the game by clicking here.