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Recent rule changes that have had an impact on British football

Referees can now show yellow and red cards to managers.

Referees will be able to punish the misconduct of managers with yellow and red cards (Stephen Pond/PA)
Referees will be able to punish the misconduct of managers with yellow and red cards (Stephen Pond/PA)

Yellow and red cards for misbehaving managers is the latest initiative designed to improve football’s appeal.

The Football Association announced the new rule will apply to coaches guilty of misconduct during matches in the FA Cup, Football League, EFL Cup, EFL Trophy and National League.

Premier League managers, meanwhile, will receive verbal cautions for “irresponsible behaviour”.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at significant changes introduced in British football in recent seasons.


The absence of goal-line technology meant England’s Frank Lampard was denied a goal at the 2010 World Cup (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Adopted ahead of the 2013/14 Premier League season, the technology uses a series of cameras to detect whether the ball has crossed the goal-line. The system, installed by Hawk-Eye, is millimetre accurate, ensuring decisions are correct and cannot be disproved by broadcast replays.


Vanishing spray has been used in the Premier League since 2014 (John Walton/PA)

Introduced to prevent opposition players encroaching at free-kicks, vanishing foam is sprayed on to the pitch by the referee to provide a temporary, visible marker. Its first usage at a major international tournament came at the 2011 Copa America, before it was introduced to football fans across the globe at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Premier League referees began carrying aerosol cans of foam from the following season.


Everton’s Oumar Niasse, left, was the first Premier League player banned for diving (Steven Paston/PA)

The Scottish Football Association has had the power to retrospectively punish divers since the 2011/12 season. The initiative was adopted by the English Football Association at the start of last season, terming the offence ‘successful deception of a match official’. Only incidents which result in a player winning a penalty or lead to an opponent being sent off can be punished, with the offender receiving a two-match ban.


VAR played a prominent role at the 2018 World Cup, with referee Nestor Pitana controversially awarding a penalty to France in the final after using the system (Aaron Chown/PA)

Used repeatedly during the 2018 World Cup, video assistant referees were introduced in an attempt to eradicate ‘clear and obvious’ refereeing errors relating to goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents, and cases of mistaken identity. Video footage is reviewed by the VAR, who advises the referee via headset. Officials can then watch the incident by the side of the pitch before making a decision, or accept the information from the VAR and take appropriate action. VAR has been trialled in the FA Cup but has not yet been adopted by the Premier League.


Before 2016, the ball had to be played forward at kick-offs (David Davies/PA)

In 2016, the way matches begin and resume following goals and half-time was changed. The previous law stated that the ball must go forward at kick-off and that players must be in their own half of the field. Players can now kick the ball in any direction, as long as it moves, with the kicker permitted to be in the opposition’s half of the pitch.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph