FAS ● May 31, 2019

Changes and clarifications to Laws of the Game for 2019/20


SINGAPORE, 31 MAY 2019 – Starting from 1 June 2019, a number of changes to the Laws of the Game will come into force.

These amendments to, and clarifications of, the Laws of the Game for 2019/20 were approved at the 133rd AGM of The International FA Board (The IFAB) in Aberdeen, Scotland on 2 March 2019.

Notable changes include the following:

  • Handball text re-written for greater clarity/consistency with clear guidelines for when “non-deliberate” handball should (and should not) be penalised.
  • A player being substituted must leave the field at the nearest point on the boundary line, unless otherwise directed by the referee.
  • Team officials guilty of misconduct can be shown a yellow card or a red card; if an offender cannot be identified, the senior coach in the technical area receives the card.
  • If a penalty is awarded and an injured player will be the taker, the player can receive assessment or treatment, and then stay on and take the kick.
  • A dropped ball is awarded if the ball touches the referee (or other match official) and goes into the goal, possession changes or an attacking move starts.
  • Referee can delay issuing a card until the next stoppage if the non-offending team takes a quick free-kick and creates a goal-scoring opportunity.
  • All verbal offences are punished with an indirect free-kick.
  • When there is a defensive “wall” of at least three players, all attacking team players must be at least 1m from the wall; indirect free-kick if they encroach.
  • Goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot on, or in line with, the goal line when a penalty kick is taken; cannot stand behind the line.
  • At goal-kicks, the ball is in play once it is kicked and clearly moves; it does not have to leave the penalty area.

Detailed explanations can be found here.