Diego Costa yellow.

Diego Costa didn't know about new Premier League rules

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When the Premier League announced rule changes ahead of the 2016/17 season, you would have assumed Diego Costa was the very first to know.

New guidelines came in to try to stop disrespectful behaviour towards match officials and, unsurprisingly, Costa became one of the first players to feel the force of this new law against West Ham.

The Chelsea striker was shown a straight yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor after just 19 minutes after questioning one of his decisions. The shock on the striker's face suggested he had no idea what he had done wrong.

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Indeed, in the past two seasons Costa has freely argued with match officials and faced no punishment but as he has had a whole month to digest the new rules, surely he knew he was heading for the referee's book. As it turns out, he didn't.

Yes, despite having one of the most argumentative and controversial players in the entire division, Chelsea did not think to notify Costa of the new rules. In fact, it took a reporter from ESPN Brasil to confirm them.

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Here is the moment he found out

Sent off

Costa was the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons following Chelsea's 2-1 win over the Hammers after he escaped a second booking for a shocking tackle on goalkeeper Adrian.

The tackle, which could have easily been a straight red, was punished with just a free-kick and Costa took full advantage of his luck by scoring the winner in the final few minutes.

The new rules

There were several new rules announced ahead of the 2016/17 season but it is the "intolerable behaviour" rule that is sure to have the biggest effect on the game. Referees are now actively encouraged to punish any player who runs to contest decisions or argues with them face-to-face.

Infringements include:

  • Show visibly disrespectful behaviour to any match official
  • Respond aggressively to decisions
  • Confront an official face to face
  • Run towards an official to contest a decision

While all the above are punishable with a yellow card, referees will also be encouraged to show a red card to any player using insulting and/or offensive language or gestures towards them.

Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

Pre-match red cards

Referees have also been given the power to distribute red cards before the match has kicked off. The aim is to prevent violent conduct in the warm-up or in the tunnel.

The new law states "a player may be sent off any time between the pre-match inspection and when the referee leaves the field at the end of the game".

Sunderland v Chelsea - Premier League

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Premier League
Diego Costa
Frank Lampard
Didier Drogba
John Terry

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