The English Premier League has returned to action, and it has seemed to pick up from where it left off last season: Reigning champions Manchester City romped to a 3-0 win over Burnley on the opening day.
But all was not the same when it came to the rules with England’s Football Association announcing a string of amendments to how the game would be officiated on the pitch.
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Here’s a look at some of these rule changes:
Extra added time
It was at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar that football fans first got a taste of extended injury time.
Referees will be encouraged to add any time spent during prolonged goal celebrations, injury delays and substitutions. Officials will pause the clock when play stops and add that time at the end.
This has not gone down well with some players with Manchester United defender Raphael Varane slamming authorities for ignoring player concerns by increasing the playing time.
We had a meeting last week with the FA. They recommended from the referees new decisions and rules.
From the managers and players, we have shared our concerns for many years now that there are too many games, the schedule is overcrowded, and it’s at a dangerous level for…
— Raphaël Varane (@raphaelvarane) August 7, 2023
Disciplinary action for time wasting
Goalkeepers and outfield players (taking throws-in or free kicks) will be penalised if officials consider them guilty of employing time-wasting tactics. This could range from a warning to a yellow card.
The most talked-about rule in football just got more confusing.
According to an amendment by the International Football Association Board, “a player who is clearly in an offside position should not become ‘onside’ on all occasions when an opponent moves and touches the ball.”
It further explains a deliberate attempt as when a player has control of the ball with the possibility of passing it to a teammate, gaining possession of the ball or clearing the ball by kicking or heading it, for example.
Goalkeeper’s action during penalties
Argentina’s World Cup-winning goalkepeer Emiliano Martinez will have some trouble adjusting to this rule because goalkpeers may now be disciplined if they attempt to distract the penalty taker in any way.
Coaching staff will not be allowed to crowd the technical area, and only one official will be allowed to be present in the dotted box outside the bench.
Players surrounding the referee are more likely to be penalised if they run up to them requesting a card or action against their opponents.
For all the talk of sterner disciplinary action, players could actually face some leniency if it saves time.
Referees could allow play to carry on if they deem a free kick resulting from stoppage in play would waste more time.