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Changes to the Laws of the Game - 2019-2020


FIFA has made some changes to the Laws of the Game for the 2019-2020 season. These go into effect for the fall 2019 seasons. The following are the highlight of the changes:

  • Handball in the attacking third – Goals will now be ruled out in cases where the ball accidentally strikes a player's hand before crossing over the line. If a player accidentally handles the ball creating an advantage or subsequently scoring, then it will be called a foul with a free kick.
  • Free Kicks – The attacking teams no longer can have players lining up with the defensive wall. An attacking player must be one yard away from the wall.
  • Goal Kicks – On goal kicks or any free kick inside the penalty area, once the ball is kicked, it is in play. The team kicking the ball may stay in the penalty area on a kick. The opponent must still wait outside the penalty area until it is kicked.
  • Penalty Kick – Keepers must have at least part of one foot on or in line with the goal-line when the penalty kick is taken.
  • Substitutions – A player substituted must leave the field at the nearest point on the boundary line, unless otherwise directed by the referee.
  • Yellow & Red Cards – Managers may now be shown a yellow or red card for poor behavior.
  • Drop Balls – There will no longer be contested drop balls. The ball will be returned to the team who last touched the ball before play was halted.  


  • Laws of the Game
    Laws of the Game and Decisions of the International Football Associations Board (FIFA)





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