Top Major Football Rule Changes 2019/2020

Football Rule Changes 2019/2020 – Football in general will be seeing some changes come the 2019/2020 season. This is because the IFAB (International Football Association Board) approved a number of amendments and clarifications to the current Laws of the Game. The changes will come into force on June 1, 2019, though competitions starting before that date have the option to delay their introduction until the next season.

So, some of the rules you’ve known will be changing. If you are not aware of them, you would think the officials are biased. So, before they come into play, we want to share these with you. Let us look at some of the major football rule changes for 2019/2020 season.

Major Football Rule Changes 2019/2020

Below are some of the most major changes to football rules that will commence from the 2019/2020 season.

1. On Substitutions

Usually, players are expected to leave the field from the place where the officials stand while substituting. However, there is a huge change to this rule now. Players who are being taken off and replaced must now leave the pitch by the nearest point on the touchline, which means we will no longer be forced to endure preposterously slow walks to the half-way line.

2. On Penalty Kicks

Henceforth, the shot-stopper must not be moving or touching the goalposts. The new rule changes also say that the goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot on or in line with the goal-line.

“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.”

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3. On Free Kicks

Usually, when a team wants to take a free kick, a player from the attacking team is allowed to join the defensive wall. But, this is going to change come 2019/2020.

The IFAB has approved a rule change which prohibits attacking players – ie those from the team on attacking from the free kick – from being in the wall. Specifically, when there is a wall of three or more players attackers are not allowed within one metre of it. Any attacking player found to be less than one metre from the wall when a free kick is taken will be penalised and the other team will be rewarded with an indirect free kick.

So, breaking it down, in a game between say Man United and Arsenal, if Man United is awarded a free kick, only Arsenal players will be in the wall. No Man United player is expected to be even within one metre of the wall.

4. On Handballs

There has been lots of agitations and ambiguities when it comes to handballs. There is a change in the rules for next season here.

Essentially, the changes will mean that there will be no goal in cases where the ball accidentally strikes a player’s hand before crossing over the line. Similarly, if a player has accidentally handled the ball and created an advantage or subsequently scores, they will be penalised with a free kick.

Since this is left for the referee to decide when an accidental handball is committed, it remains to be seen how this will take place.

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5. Yellow & Red Card For Coaches

In order to clamp down on difficult behaviour from coaches who don’t see eye to eye with the referee or their opposite number, officials will be able to show them yellow or red cards, in the same way they do with players.

If, in the event of a touchline melee for example, the offending individual cannot be identified for punishment, the senior coach who is in the technical area will be the default recipient.


We have seen the major changes that will be implement in football come the 2019/2020 season. Which of these do you think will generate the most controversy? Let us know.

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