New football law changes soften punishment for fouls inside the box

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body that determines football laws in conjunction with world football governing body Fifa, recently made changes to the laws of the game for the 2016/17 season.

The most notable is for sendings-off and cautionable offences inside the penalty area, in which accidental fouls inside the box will not be a straight red card.

Previously, it was a ‘triple-punishment’ rule in which a player, who denied a goal-scoring opportunity, was automatically red-carded and handed a next game suspension, as well as giving away a penalty.

The law has now changed so that players committing accidental fouls, that deny a goal-scoring opportunity, are not automatically sent off, but just cautioned instead.

However, 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.

Referees have also had their powers extended in which they can send off a player before kick-off for, say, fighting in the tunnel but that playee can be replaced so teams start with 11.

The new laws changes, to officially be used from June 1, also say that from the kick off (for the start, for the second half and after a goal has been scored) the ball can be moved in any direction rather than only kicked forward.

Also changes is the rule of injury, in which 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.

This has been taken into account because previously it gave the offending team temporary numerical advantage.

Players who feint when taking penalty will now punished with yellow card and indirect freekick instead of penalty retake. Stuttering runs are still allowed.

A player who accidentally loses a boot will allowed to continue playing until play next stop. Under-shorts must be same colour as shorts.

On throw-ins, the ball must be thrown with both hands and not thrown with one hand and ‘guided’ with the other.

Water breaks are permissible in “very hot/humid conditions”.

IFAB may in the future debate changes to hand-ball laws, including on the line (Suarez v Ghana) which could be punished with a penalty goal.

According to IFAB, the changes have been made  following an 18-month comprehensive review, led by former English Premier League referee David Elleray.

The IFAB also approved video technology, meant help referees to determine if a goal has been scored, red cards, penalties and mistaken identity, be given a two-year trial period.

The Italian Football Federation has been selected for the trial period of the video technology, because it is among the first supporters of using technology on the pitch.

Meanwhile, England say they will use the new law changes when they will be playing their Euro 2016 warm-up matches.

England meet Turkey in a friendly on May 22 and against Australia five days later, but IFAB has allowed matches to be played under the new laws earlier.

IFAB was founded in 1886 to agree standardised Laws for international competition, and has since acted as the “guardian” of the internationally used Laws.

Since its establishment in 1904, world football gobeening body, Fifa, has recognised IFAB’s jurisdiction over the Laws.

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2 thoughts on “New football law changes soften punishment for fouls inside the box”

  1. Che Wanimiliyoni says:

    That’s good and please continue to change the remaining archaic football laws. For instance why are teams not allowed to use all players on bench as substitutes or even allow substitutes to re-enter field of play after the pain has subsided? It’s unfair that when a team has used their allowed susbstitutions and unfortunately get another injury it is forced to complete the game with fewer players while others are just sitting phwii on bench. The other is a corner kick which is taken far away from where the foul has taken place and it’s no longer an advantage.

  2. john DALE says:

    thats better

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