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Changes to the Laws Of The Game 2016/17

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CHANGES TO THE FIFA LAWS OF THE GAME 2016/17

Under the revised Laws, if the defender is making a legitimate attempt to play the ball and simply mis-times a tackle, for example, the defender will be cautioned instead of sent off. This only applies to fouls committed inside the penalty area, and only when the referee determines there was a legitimate attempt to play the ball. If the defender should, for example, grab the jersey of the attacker, the defender would still be subject to being sent off.

Further, if the foul occurs outside of the penalty area, the defender would continue to be subject to a send off, consistent with the current edition of the Laws.

Other changes to the Laws include:

1. A kick-off may now be kicked in any direction, including backwards
2. Players who are injured as the result of a reckless or excessive force challenge (resulting in a caution or send off to the offender) will not be required to leave the field of play to receive treatment, if treatment can be handled expeditiously
3. Goalkeepers who come off their line during a penalty kick will be cautioned if the kick fails, in addition to the kick being re-taken
4. If the kicker of the penalty kick violates the Laws, the kick will no longer be retaken and play will be restarted with an indirect free kick for the defending team
5. If opposing players are off the field of play (through the course of normal play) and one commits a foul, play will be restarted with the appropriate free kick, on the touchline or goal line. Under the current Laws, play restarts with a dropped ball, as only misconduct and not fouls can be committed off the field of play.
6. Offside restarts will be taken from the point on the field where the offending player was when they became offside. Under the current Laws, the restart would be taken from the point where they were originally in an offside position.
 
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