Shillong, Jun 1: New fine-tuned rules for football will come into force from today, though ongoing tournaments like the U-18 Shillong Premier League will not implement them until next season.

The new rules were agreed on by the International Football Association Board at its annual general meeting in March for the 2019-20 season.

Possibly the most noticeable change will see players that have been substituted having to make their way off the pitch via the nearest boundary line, rather than via the centre of the pitch. This will, hopefully, reduce time-wasting.

Other rule changes will see a handball given even for an accidental touch of the ball by an attacking player in the opposition box if the ball crosses the goal line after touching the arm.

IFAB also approved changes to the laws of the game by bringing in yellow and red cards for misconduct by team officials and the ball not having to leave the penalty area at goal kicks and defending team free-kicks in the penalty area.

No attacking team players can now stand in the wall of the defending team when a free-kick is taken and rules have been tweaked when it comes to allowing a dropped ball in certain situations when the ball hits the referee, while the goalkeeper will be required to have only one foot on the goal line during a penalty kick.

IFAB is made up of representatives from each of the United Kingdom’s pioneering football associations – England’s Football Association, the Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales and Northern Ireland’s Irish Football Association – as well as FIFA. Each of the UK’s associations has one vote, while FIFA has four.

(TSR file photo)

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