Rule changes: What you need to know

The world game is set for an almighty shake up, with some new rule changes set to take place in the near future.

Some tweaks to different interpretations is hoped to deliver a better game going forward.

From June 1 2019, the changes will be implemented as league competitions for the 2019-20 season start. It has been approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Some of the main changes are outlined below:

No attacking players in the wall for free-kicks:

Each time a free-kick is taken from close range or distance, only players from the defending team are allowed to be part of the wall.

The whole idea of having just a single team form the wall is that there won’t be any time wasted for push and shove which can escalate and waste some time.

If an attacking player is less than one metre from the wall for a free-kick, that team will be penalised and an indirect kick for the defending team will occur as a result.

“There is no legitimate tactical justification for attackers to be in the ‘wall’ and their presence is against the ‘spirit of the game’ and often damages the image of the game,” The IFAB said.

Players substituted off must leave pitch at earliest location:

In an effort to clamp down on time-wasting teams, players who are substituted out of the game must leave at the nearest touchline, instead of waiting for them to wonder across the whole field.

For instance, players on the opposite side of the ground to where the benches are must walk along the outer perimeter of the pitch and either go straight to the dressing room or onto the bench.

Yellow and red cards for coaches:

All coaches from each team will receive cards if deemed necessary by the referee, keeping it consistent across the board.

Coaches may receive a card for any offence that goes against the game, including outbursts at officials, getting involved in fracas and time-wasting.

This is something we’ve seen in the Hyundai A-League and will be making its way across to other leagues.

Goalkeepers to have one foot on line for penalty kicks:

The issue of penalty kicks has cropped up a few times in recent years and the trend has been towards reducing the freedom of the goalkeeper.

That hasn’t changed with the latest update to the rules, which dictate that the shot-stopper must not be moving or touching the goalposts.

“Allowing the goalkeeper to have only one foot touching the goal line (or, if jumping, in line with the goal line) when the penalty kick is taken is a more practical approach as it is easier to identify if both feet are not on the line,” goes the IFAB’s explanation.

“As the kicker can ‘stutter’ in the run, it is reasonable that the goalkeeper can take one step in anticipation of the kick.”

Accidental handballs will be given:

If the ball is handled by an outfield player and crosses the goal line, the goal will be cancelled and even if unintentional, a handball will be deemed the infringement.

A free-kick will also result if a handling the ball creates an advantage or subsequently scores.

Non-competitive drop balls:

If the play has stopped when the ball is in the penalty area, the ball will always be dropped for the goalkeeper.

For any other part of the field, when it’s a drop ball it will only be a player from the team that last touched the ball.

This removes the contested drop ball which is a fifty-fifty chance.

“The current dropped ball procedure often leads to a ‘manufactured’ restart which is ‘exploited’ unfairly (e.g. kicking the ball out for a throw-in deep in the opponents’ half) or an aggressive confrontation,” the IFAB said.

“Returning the ball to the team that last played it restores what was ‘lost’ when play was stopped, except in the penalty area where it is simpler to return the ball to the goalkeeper.

“To prevent that team gaining an unfair advantage, all players of both teams, except the player receiving the ball, must be at least 4m (4.5 yds) away.”

Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Auckland-based team confirmed to join A-Leagues for 2024/25 season

Auckland A-Leagues team

The A-Leagues have announced that New Zealand will have its second team in the competition with an Auckland-based side to join Wellington Phoenix for the 2024/25 season.

The newly established club will enter the A-League Men’s competition next October and begin life in the A-League Women a year later, for the 2025-26 competition.

The new team is still lacking other parts of club DNA like colours, a badge, a kit, a training facility and home stadium which would have to be decided in the near future.

Australian Professional Leagues (APL) said that there was a decision made by senior football executives to award American billionaire businessman Bill Foley a club licence to form the new franchise.

Foley is a 78-year-old insurance and financial services magnate who has had a recent history of dabbling into the sports ownership world.

In 2016, Foley was awarded a similar expansion licence to create the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL, with the team winning the Stanley Cup last season just seven years after establishment.

Recently, Foley has focused on football, with ownership and eventually assuming the role of chairman for AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League as well as acquiring a minority stake in French Ligue 1 club FC Lorient where he has created a partnership between the two clubs.

This expansion has the ability to connect the new Auckland-based team to those two clubs, creating a simple pathway for quality loan players or transfers.

Foley discussed the potential and excitement this new team can bring to football in New Zealand.

“Building a championship team from expansion has been my most exhilarating professional achievement, and I aim to do the same for the fans of New Zealand and particularly the community on the North Island,” he said in a personal statement.

“It’s an honour to bring a top football club to Auckland. It’s a special place and an area that I know will embrace this team.”

Stephen Conroy, APL Chair, mentioned that the ownership of the club is in good hands.

“In Bill Foley we have a proven global sports investor and operator with a track record of building deep roots in the community, a passion for football, and a long-standing business and personal relationship with New Zealand,” Conroy added in a statement.

“We are delighted to welcome Bill and his team to the A-Leagues and look forward to seeing the club in action next year.”

APL said that Football Australia and New Zealand Football will now seek final approval from FIFA and the AFC federation to confirm this move.

Football Victoria’s Community in Business Full-Time Lunch to keep the momentum

Football Victoria CIB Full Time Lunch 2022

Football Victoria will wrap up the very best of 2023 as part of the Community in Business (CIB) Full-Time Lunch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday, November 16.

With the theme of ‘Keeping the Momentum’ for the day, all attendees on the day will celebrate the highlights from within Victoria and nationwide. Following the World Cup success of the Matildas, strides made by the Socceroos, the record-breaking start by honorary member Ange Postecoglou and the A-Leagues season off to a great start, there will be a stack to discuss.

Hosted by Michael Zappone, he will speak with a variety of guest speakers and panellists, as per below:

  • Former Socceroos Legend and Western United head coach, John Aloisi
  • Melbourne Victory FC Managing Director Caroline Carnegie
  • Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse
  • Pararoos Stars Christian Tsangas and Cosimo Cirillo
  • Paul Trimboli of South Melbourne FC – former player of Ange Postecoglou

Guests will take part in networking opportunities throughout the day, as well as being treated to live music from Belle Lynch.

With the Socceroos playing at AAMI Park against Bangladesh for the Asian Cup qualifier that night, it will be a short walk to attend after the lunch.

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