First Team 4 weeks ago

Premier League Rule Changes: VAR, Handball, Substitutes & More

A series of new rules are set to be introduced when the 2019/20 Premier League season kicks off in August.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know ahead of the opening weekend, when Watford host Brighton at Vicarage Road (Saturday August 10).

DROPPED BALL
When play is stopped, the ball will be dropped for a player on the team which last touched the ball – unless it’s stopped inside the penalty area, in which case it’ll be dropped for the goalkeeper. All other players on both teams must be at least 4.5 yards away.

FREE KICK
Players on the attacking team are not allowed within one yard of a wall containing three or more defenders. Infringements will be punished with an indirect free kick.

GOAL CELEBRATIONS
Illegal celebrations, such as removing the shirt, will still be punished with a yellow card even if the goal is disallowed.

HANDBALL
If a player handling the ball leads to a chance or a goal, they will be penalised even if accidental. A foul will also be given where a player’s arms have been raised above shoulder-height (unless it has touched their hand/arm after being deliberately played) or if they have made their body ‘unnaturally’ bigger. 

GOAL KICK
The ball will be in play as soon as the kick is taken, meaning opposition players will not have to wait until it has left the penalty area before contesting it.

VAR 
Where there has been a clear and obvious error, the video assistant referee will advise the match referee on situations involving goals, penalties, straight red cards (not second yellow cards) and cases of mistaken identity. Decisions can also be reviewed by the referee via a touchline TV.

KICK-OFF
The team winning the toss can now choose either to take the kick-off or which goal to attack, whereas previously they only had the choice of the latter.

SUBSTITUTES
In order to crack down on time-wasting, players being substituted must leave the pitch from the nearest point of the touchline or goal line, unless permitted to leave via the half-way line for safety or injury reasons.

PENALTY KICK
Goalkeepers must have at least one foot on the goal line when a penalty is taken, or in line with it if jumping. They cannot stand behind (or in front of) the line.

TEAM OFFICIALS
Yellow and red cards can be shown to team officials guilty of misconduct. If the offender cannot be identified, the senior coach in the technical area at the time – usually the Head Coach/manager – will be penalised.

First Team 1 month ago

Internationals: Pereyra & Lukebakio Play

Roberto Pereyra played the first half as Argentina drew 1-1 with Paraguay in the Copa América thanks to a second-half penalty from Lionel Messi.

With Argentina looking to force a win after their opening game defeat to Colombia, Pereyra was taken off at half-time to make way for Sergio Agüero, after Richard Sánchez had put Paraguay ahead in the 37th minute.

Paraguay had a penalty of their own in the second half, but missed, giving Argentina some hope of making it through to the quarter-finals if they win and other results go their way.

Belgium lost their second Under-21 European Championship game 2-1 against Spain, with Dodi Lukebakio playing the full game as a central striker.

The Hornets' forward - who spent last season on-loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf - thought he had scored in the sixth minute, but it was ruled out for offside.

Spain then went on to take the lead through Dani Olmo just one minute later, and while Sebastiaan Bornauw scored to make things level heading into the break, an 89th-minute goal by new West Ham United signing Pablo Fornals left the Belgians with no points after two matches.

The result means they will exit the competition after their final group stage match against Italy, unless they win by three or more goals and Poland beat Spain.