Big Changes are Made in the Law Ahead of the 2019/2020 Football Season

Each season the International Football Association Board (IFAB) bring changes to the football law.

The 2019/2020 football season is no different with a number of changes which have now been in force since first June 2019.

They were used in the Champions League Final as well as the Women’s World Cup and will now be used in the domestic leagues and cups as well when the season starts in August 2019.

Here are the major changesĀ  which are now part of the game.


The Champions League final 2019 was the first game to implement the new law changes.
Photograph: El Ronzo Flikr


Dropped Ball

If play is stopped for whatever reason inside the box, the ball will be dropped for the goalkeeper.

If it is outside the area, the ball will be dropped for the player that last touched it during play.



Another change in a dead ball situation come in the way of a freekick.

If a ‘wall’ of players contain more than three defenders, the attackers are not allowed to be within one metre of the ‘wall’ of defenders from when the kick is taken.

Another change to freekicks, is when a freekick is awarded within the penalty area.

Play continues when the kick is taken and does not have to leave the penalty area before another player can touch it.



There has been a slight change to goal celebrations, with players receiving a yellow card for an inappropriate celebration remains even when the goal is disallowed.


Goal Kicks

The ball is in play as soon as the kick has been taken. Which means that a player is able to touch the ball even when the ball is still in the box.



Handballs are one of the most common law changes that are made by the IFAB due to numerous circumstances that happen within the game.

For example Fernando Llorente’s goal for Tottenham against Manchester City in the quarter final of the Champions League would no longer stand.

Fernando Llorente’s goal against Manchester City required the brand new video assistant referee (VAR) to decide whether the goal should stand.
Photograph: Wikimedia

Under the new regulations, goals that are scored or are created via a hand will not stand. Even if it is accidental.

A handball will also be given if the arm is extended to make the body unnaturally bigger.



Something which has caused controversy for Scotland at the Women’s World cup against Argentina.

VAR prevented the Scottish team from reaching the Knockout stages with the goalkeeper being inches off her line.

The new law states that the goalkeeper must have at least one foot on the goal line when the kick is taken.

Goalkeepers also can’t touch the goalposts, the crossbar or the nets in a way to move them which distracts the penalty taker.


The referee will now have the final say of where on the pitch a player should leave for a substitution.
Photograph: Wikimedia


A new change in the aim to prevent time wasting by the players on the pitch.

A player who is now substituted must leave the field by the nearest point of the goal line or touchline.

Though the referee may indicate which way a player can go depending on safety and injury.