From denying two footed lunching tackles even when the ball is won; something that was part of the game in the 80s, to bringing about Extra time, to the application and cancellation of the golden goal, to the goal line technology, then came the VAR, and the chance of additional number of substitutions_ who says football hasn’t evolved?

Football these days is becoming more and more difficult for fans to understand, as laws are revised almost every day, making it difficult for players, coaches, fans and stakeholders to understand. FIFA president, Gianni Infantino and co have come out with a set of 4 rules to clear every shadow of doubts in the mind of everyone partaking in the ‘beautiful’ game.

-Nothing like voluntary or involuntary handball. Anytime the ball touches the hand in the ring is a penalty.

To many, this rule is the most petinen. The rule stated some time ago that handball could only be giving if a players hand was in an unorthodox position, or if the action was further away, in such a way that the player could see the ball coming at slow pace, then a penalty could be given. A couple of jaw dropping decisions have brought up debates, but this new rule has shown itself already in the Serie A, in the game pitting Napoli vs Juventus with Alexandro not even aware of where the ball was, but for the main reason that the ball stroke his arm a VAR intervention gave a penalty to Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne that wasn’t transformed.

-Substituted players can now leave the pitch through the nearest exit.That idea of wasting time moving slowly to the substitution zone to kill time especially during additional time is tantamount to sanction.

The second rule that has been changed is a secread weapon that is used up till date, to slow the tempo of the game and demoralize opponents. Most at times players go down when they lead and their names are raised on the substitution board, some take a long slow walk. Kisses and hugs on the touch line before entry of players might not happen often.

-No disturbance of the opponents when a barrier has been put in place during a free kick. Players who try to disturb those in the barrier can be sanctioned.

The third change of rule could be a problem for dead ball specialist; free kick takers benefit from their team mates presence in the ‘wall’ because it creates space when they are about striking, it obstructs the view of the receiving goal keeper, and brings forth lack of concentration from the players forming the barrier; they are in a conundrum on if it is a trick from the playground or they should stand their grounds. Good luck to every dead ball specialist out there.

-During a penalty, the goal keeper is no longer obliged to to have both legs on the line. Only one leg is required to be on the line.
How many times have we witnessed saved penalties retaken because of this?
The men in between the sticks should be delighted with this particular change of rule, as that gives them an extra advantage to make themselves bigger to safe penalties.

Giovanni Wanneh.