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Rule changes which could affect Man United and City when season resumes

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Both Manchester United and Manchester City look as though they could be set to return to Premier League action next month.

Both clubs voted in favour of a return to socially distanced training last week and will vote on phase two of Project Restart, a return to full-contact training, next week.

However, when the Premier League does return, it could do so with new rules in place that both United and City may need to be aware of.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the International Football Association Board announced a number of rule changes for when football returns after its coronavirus-enforced break.

Possible rule changes when season resumes

Five substitutions

The IFAB will allow teams to make five substitutions per match when football returns.

The rule is to help sides returning from football's coronavirus-enforced break and will be allowed to be implemented immediately, although the Premier League has not yet confirmed whether it will adopt the rule.

The use of five substitutions in matches will be permitted in competitions scheduled to be completed by December 31 this year, and although temporary for now, FIFA says it will assess with IFAB whether it should be extended into 2021.

Teams will be limited to three opportunities during matches to make their substitutions - as well as half-time - in a bid to prevent unnecessary stoppages.

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VAR

The IFAB has also tweaked its rules around VAR to allow competitions that were using the technology to stop doing so, if and when they resume their campaigns.

“In relation to competitions in which the video assistant referee (VAR) system is implemented, these competitions are permitted to cease its use upon restart at the discretion of each individual competition organiser,” a statement from FIFA read.

“However, where VAR is used, all aspects of the Laws of the Game and, by extension, the VAR protocol will remain in place.”

The Premier League, however, is expected to resist the idea of scrapping VAR this term.

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While the start of next season is likely to be delayed, that hasn’t stopped the IFAB from announcing changes to the Laws of the Game for the 2020/21 season, and below is a look at some of the main changes which were announced back in April.

Rule changes from start of 2020-21 season

Handball

From next season onwards, goals following accidental handballs will only be disallowed if the accidental handball 'results in a goal or an obvious opportunity for the player and or their team to score a goal. (i.e. following the handball, the ball travels only a short distance and/or there are very few passes).'

“For the purposes of determining handball offences, the ‘arm’ stops at the bottom of the armpit,” the new rules state.

VAR

From the beginning of next season it will be expected that the on-field referee will use the pitch-side video monitor whenever there is a subjective decision (at the moment decisions are solely taken by the video assistant referee at Stockley Park).

In a move that won’t please fans, IFAB has decided against giving supporters the chance to hear conversations between match officials during a VAR review.

Fans in the Premier League had hoped that football would follow in the footsteps of rugby and cricket and allow supporters to hear officials' reasoning behind the decisions that are made.

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Penalty kicks

As of next season, a goalkeeper moving off his line before a kick is taken will only be punished if the penalty is saved by the keeper.

Should the penalty be missed, either wide, off the post or bar, or hit over, then the spot kick will not be retaken regardless of any movement from the goalkeeper.

Encroachment by both sets of players, regardless of the outcome, will result in the penalty being retaken.

If the encroachment is made by an attacking player, and the player taking the penalty misses the target, then an indirect free-kick will be awarded to the defending team.




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