New law changes 2018-19 revealed by IFAB over the weekend concentrate on five rules which could drastically affect key areas of the game. The new regulations could affect the top leagues from June 1.
1. Accidental handball goal won’t stand
Goals scored which have hit a player’s hand, deliberate or not, will no longer stand.
Gallagher said of the change: “It will be significant as we will no longer see a goal scored hitting the arm.
“80 per cent of the handballs that referees give are not deliberate, but because a player gains a material advantage. Taking the word deliberate out will eradicate that.”
Some ambiguity remains and Gallagher added: “We will still have the problem of asking ‘has he made himself bigger, has he put his arms in an unnatural position?’
“There will still be the arm close to the body that will hit the arm and the referee will deny a penalty.”
2. No rebounds from penalties
One of the changes Gallagher believes will have a big bearing on how we look at football is play stopping for a restart if a penalty is saved or hits the post.
This means players will no longer line up on the edge of the area or attempt a rebound.
Gallagher said: “We’ve seen Manchester United’s Paul Pogba this year score a penalty from his own rebound and on Saturday the Arsenal penalty was saved and the players chased it down and the ball was still alive.
“Now if it hits the post or the goalkeeper saves and it comes back out to the forward, the game will be stopped, there’ll be no second chance.”
3. Substituted players can leave the field anywhere
To stop time-wasting, when a player is taken off they will no longer have to leave the field at the halfway line and can leave the pitch at the nearest point.
Gallagher said: “Some of the teams hanging on in the past have made a substitute when they are the furthest player from the technical area. This will no longer apply.
“Whether they decide to go to the nearest point remains to be seen, but it’s up to the referee to invoke that.”
4. No attacking players in the wall
This rule prohibits attacking players standing in the wall when a free-kick is being taken, a tactic increasingly employed in recent years.
Attackers will be made to stand at least one metre from the wall, and is aimed at stopping defenders being moved out of the way, such as Alexandre Lacazette’s free-kick for Arsenal in their recent game against Bournemouth.
5. Coaches will receive cards
Currently, coaches only receive verbal warnings for misconduct, but the change will see them receiving yellows and reds as players do.
It will likely be similar to the EFL law adopted last year, where managers can also receive a one-game suspension.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s eccentric touchline celebration for Wolves’ 4-3 win against Leicester could be a yellow card from next season.