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Football and VAR Rules Changes 2020-21 Season

The Premier League 2019-20 Season resumed after 3 months hiatus. This is due to the effects of the ongoing Corona Virus Pandemic.

As such, temporary rules were been implemented to safeguard the players’ fitness and to complete the season smoothly.

However, the IFAB made careful deliberations to help the game to be more in tune with the current situation.


So, IFAB ratified some amendments and elucidation to the present Football Rules. Some of the important rules changes that will come into effect for 2020-21 Season:

I) Reverting back to 3 Substitutes

The Premier League temporarily increased the limit of making substitutions in a match to 5.

Yet, in a shareholders meeting (early August) the Premier League clubs including Liverpool Fc (The Reds) voted in favour of the return of the 3 Substitutions rule. 

Also, the maximum number of players on the bench will be 7 (from 9).

II) Discontinuation of Drinks Breaks

The season normally concludes in May. Since, the British summers are generally around June and July. So, Drinks Breaks were introduced to alleviate the players from the summer heat and maintain player fitness levels. But, Drinks Breaks has been discontinued from 2020-21 season.

III) VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

(In July 2020) The IFAB had handed over to FIFA: VAR Responsibilities and methods in which the Refereeing Assistant will be utilised in games. Some of the notable changes made to VAR rules:

A) Referee Review Area (RRA)

The Referee will heavily utilise RRA to analyse 3 Subjective Decisions: Goals, Red cards and Penalty Kicks.

B) Infringement of Goalkeeper on Penalty Kicks

The VAR will have the Penalty Kick retaken, if the Goalkeeper saves a Penalty but have his foot over the line. Yet if the ball hits the post, the Penalty will not be retaken. Even if, the Goalkeeper is found to be off his line.

The only exception is if the Goalkeeper has a “material impact on the kick being missed”.

C) Infringement of Player on Penalty Kicks

If any part of the player’s foot is on the Penalty Box. Then, this will be considered as an infringement.

D) The Flag shall be kept down for tight marginal offside offences

When chance on Goal is about to happen; the assistant referee are advised to keep their flag down, until the play has passed. So, if a Goal is scored or an unsuccessful attempt made.

The Assistant Referee will then only raise the flag to imply the offside offense but only after the chance on Goal is made.

The VAR will then review the possibility of offside. But only after the Goal is scored.


For those wondering…

Who is IFAB?

IFAB stands for International Football Association Board.

They comprises of 4 British Associations: The FA, SFA, FAW and IFA.

And regards themselves as the “Guardian of the Laws of the Game”.

The IFAB and FIFA are the only organisation with the power to review and change the rules that governs Football.

The 4 British associations have one vote each and FIFA (constituting 207 National Associations) has 4 votes.


Verdict: The aforesaid rules (that will be implemented from 2020-21 Season) will be fair to all Teams.

Also, the amended Rules are more in tune with the Corona Virus Situation and the Premier League Clubs demands.


#PremierLeague #Laws #Football #VAR