Football rules: How will new IFAB laws affect the game?

Wilfried Zaha gestures toward match referee Andre Marriner after being shown a yellow card

New law changes revealed by IFAB over the weekend concentrate on five rules which could drastically affect key areas of the game.

Deliberate handball? Attackers in a wall for a free-kick? What are the new rules and how significant are they?

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher explained to Sky Sports News how 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."

Aguero handball
Image: Sergio Aguero's handball that wouldn't count from next season

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?'

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"There will still be the arm close to the body that will hit the arm and the referee will deny a penalty."

2. 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.

Anthony Martial was substituted at half-time having appeared to pick up an injury before the break against PSG
Image: Anthony Martial substituted against PSG

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."

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3. 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.

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates his opener with Granit Xhaka
Image: Alexandre Lacazette scored a free-kick against Bournemouth with Arsenal players disrupting the wall

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.

4. 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.

santo celebs
Image: Nuno Espirito Santo's celebration that could constitute a yellow card

Nuno Espirito Santo's eccentric touchline celebration for Wolves' 4-3 win against Leicester could be a yellow card from next season.

This is an updated and corrected version of this article. The first edition mistakenly referred to a rule in relation to penalties which will not come into effect.

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