The NINE rule changes to be brought into next season’s Champions League

The new laws were adopted by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), comprised of the four Home Nations as well as four representatives from FIFA, in Aberdeen in March.

Below you can see a list of the rule changes in the 2019/20 campaign, with one of them being on show for this year’s final when Tottenham take on Liverpool at Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano.

  1. Attacking players can no longer infiltrate defensive walls of three or more players at free-kicks. Instead, the attacking side must be at least one metre away from the wall or concede an indirect free-kick.
  2. Goal kicks and free-kicks inside your own box no longer have to leave the penalty area to be ‘in play’ although the other side are not allowed inside the area until the ball has been made live.

3. Drop balls can now be given straight to the goalkeeper if play was stopped inside the box. Outside the box, the ball will be dropped for the team that last touched it and all other players from both teams must be four metres away.

4. If an attacking player uses his hand or arm to either score or create a goal-scoring chance, even if accidentally, it will be a handball offence and the goal wiped out. Any incident of the ball striking the arm above shoulder height will be handball, unless the player kicks or heads it against themselves. Handball will be deemed if any player has made  themselves ‘unnaturally bigger’ – by throwing arms out. This is the ‘natural silhouette’ interpretation.

5. At a penalty, the goalkeeper now needs to have only one foot on the line when the kick is taken. Keepers are not allowed to touch the post, bar or net before the kick is taken.

6. A substituted player MUST leave the pitch at the nearest point, rather than only on half-way as before. This should cut down time-wasting.

7. Coaches and managers will now be handed red and yellow cards at all levels for misconduct. This happened in the EFL this season but not the Premier League.

8. The side winning the toss will have choice of kick-off OR ends.

9. In a change to UEFA regulations, up to 12 players will be allowed on the bench for European finals starting from Liverpool’s clash with Tottenham. Premier League clubs are expected to stick with seven on the bench.

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