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Croatia v Tunisia: first match to be played under new football rules in Croatia

(Photo: HNS)

VARAŽDIN, 11 June 2019 – Croatia’s International friendly against Tunisia tonight in Varaždin will be the first match played in Croatia under the new football rule changes. 

The IFAB (International Football Association Board) approved a number of amendments and clarifications to the current Laws of the Game back in March with the laws coming into effect on 1 June.

Three rule changes were made after two years of experimenting around the world. 

Defensive free-kicks in the box and goal kicks 

For goal kicks and defensive free-kicks in the box, the ball no longer has to leave the box before being touched by another player. The ball is in play soon as it is touched.  

Yellow & red cards for coaches

The law was made to clamp down on difficult behaviour from coaches and will see referees treat them the same way as players. 

Substitutions: Players must leave pitch at nearest point

Players who are being taken off and replaced must now leave the pitch by the nearest point on the touchline. This will prevent time-wasting tactics will slow walks to the half-way line. 

Some other new rules and regulations include:

Free kicks: No attacking players in wall

Players from the attacking team will no longer be able to be in he defensive wall. Specifically, when there is a wall of three or more players attackers are not allowed within one metre of it.

Drop ball no longer competitive

The competitive dropped ball has been scrapped. If play is stopped inside the penalty area the ball will simply be dropped for the goalkeeper. If it is stopped outside the penalty area the ball will be dropped for a player from the team that last touched the ball. In all cases, players will have to be at least four metres (four and a half yards) away.

Handball in the area

Goals scored or scoring opportunities created with the use of the hand or arm will be sanctioned even if accidental. The change will favour referees as there will be no interpretation over the incident, reducing controversy.

Other new regulations include:

The inner shirts of the players can be of a different colour, but with the condition that the sleeves are the same colour as the kit.

The team that wins the coin toss will now be able to choose to take kick-off.

The goalkeeper will not be able to score a goal in the opposing net with his hands from his own area.

The referee may caution or send off a player for a foul that was carried out in a previous action.

Euro 2020 qualifying matches will all governed by the previous rules.

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