When the new Premier League season kicks off later today, keep an eye out for some of the modified rules that will be enforced this year.
Of the 95 changes that have been agreed upon, very few will actually be visible to the casual fan, but the change with the biggest impact is the so-called ‘Triple-Punishment Rule’ - a foul committed in the penalty area, denying an opponent an obvious goalscoring opportunity. This usually results in 1 - a red card, 2 - a suspension and 3 - a penalty kick.
Under the new rule -
In the new laws a player who commits a foul while tackling in a "fair and reasonable" attempt to play the ball will only receive a yellow card for this offence, because it is considered that the penalty kick recreates the goalscoring opportunity that was lost by the foul.
If the offence is outside the penalty area, or if the foul is for holding or handball, then it will still be sanctioned with a red card.
Some other key changes were used at the Euro 2016 tournament held in France this summer, including the kickoff, a part of the offside rule and goalkeepers moving during a penalty kick.
Henceforth, the kick-off can be played in any direction and does need to be necessarily played forward. This was seen quite often during the Euros, especially by France.
As for the offside -
If a player runs back into his own half from an offside position and is penalised, the free-kick is taken from the point where they are penalised. This can be well inside their own half, which increases the advantage for the opposing team.
During a penalty kick, if a goalkeeper moves early on a kick that the penalty taker does not score from, the kick will be retaken, with the goalkeeper getting a yellow card.
Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) General Manager Mike Riley said -
"The changes are reflective of the modern game – you have to move with the times.
"We want football to be seen as a progressive and forward-thinking sport and ultimately these changes have been made to try and improve the game.”