Six rule changes have been confirmed for the 2019/20 football season

Football is long overdue some changes to the rules that govern it.

Video Assistant Referee (VAR), for example, will be a much-needed addition to the Premier League next season following a weekend filled with controversy.

Chelsea’s goal to equalise against Cardiff City was offside, so it shouldn’t have counted, and Cardiff themselves should have been given two penalties.

And on Monday night, Arsenal had a goal disallowed for a supposed handball from Alexandre Lacazette. Replays showed it was Newcastle’s goalkeeper that palmed the ball into his own net.

Arsenal were 2-0 up at the time of the disallowed goal so it didn’t change the result, but it would have boosted the Gunners’ goal difference, which is vital in the top four race.

It’s not just the Premier League having problems with match officials making wrong decisions; La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga all go through the same thing on a weekly basis.

So what can be done? Well, it’s been confirmed that six new rules are set to come into play from the 2019/20 season. They are as follows:

  • If a free-kick wall has more than three players in it, no attacker can be within one metre of it
  • Goal-kicks no longer need to leave the 18-yard box
  • Goalkeepers can’t stand completely behind the line for penalties
  • If a player is about to be booked and the opposing team take a quick free-kick, the referee can go back and issue the booking at the next stoppage
  • Drop balls will no longer be contested. Instead, the ball will be given to the team who had possession. Opponents must stand at least four metres away
  • Laws on handball to change. Even if accidental, a handball is when:
  • — A goal is scored after touching an attacking player’s arm or hand
  • — A player controls the ball with their arm or hand and then scores or creates a goalscoring opportunity
  • — A player controls the ball with their arm or hand after making themselves bigger
  • — The ball touches a player’s arm or hand above shoulder height

Interesting. Handball has been one of football’s biggest issues in recent years and it’s about time the laws were more clear-cut.

As for drop balls no longer existing, they’ve always been a source of entertainment for football fans and will be missed.

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