The 2023/24 Premier League is underway with a lot of changes expected as Premier League clarify existing rules and introduces new ones
The Premier League have borrowed a great deal from 2022 FIFA World Cup, polishing old norms of the game and also setting new boundaries touching fans, players, managers and officials as the 2023/24 season kicks off.
You must have probably heard of the new rules. Here, we will take you through all the changes and rules and how it will change the face of the game this season.
Players reaction to referees’ decision
If you have been following live actions in the Premier League and other major competitions, you must have witnessed players crowding the referee in protest, especially when controversial officiating decisions is taken like awarding controversial penalties, freekicks, dishing out cards, or allowing offside goals.
This season, such scenarios is going to be a thing of the past. Based on the just released Premier League rules, players are not allowed to encircle or crowd the referee or any other match official when a decision is taken. Team captains have been asked to moderate the conduct of their players during matches or face hefty penalties.
During the 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium, Aston Villa and Argentina goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez, made headlines when he played mind games trying to distract France’s penalty takers. It worked for him as France’s penalty takers got cowed by his antics.
FIFA have already drafted plans to enforce what has been popularly regarded as the ‘anti-martinez law‘ to deter goalkeepers from distracting penalty takers.
The Premier League have equally adopted the plan and will implement it this season and henceforth. Goalkeepers are asked to be restricted to the goal and not touch the net, crossbar, or goalpost or make any attempt to delay spotkicks.
Longer game duration
Arsenal are the first beneficiaries of this particular new rule that will see game extended with longer added times due to delays.
It is usually a regular sight to see leading teams try to make late substitutions while the substituted player will make attempt to kill time by walking slowly off the pitch. Also, a player of the leading team may feign being injured and plunge to the ground to delay the game. Now, such antics will not make any difference.
Referees have been mandated to ensure that wasted time on substitutions, injury, and other causes of delays are added to the game. Hence, you will be seeing Premier League matches with added time of over 15 minutes depending on delays during the game.
Arsenal won the Community Shield against Manchester City with Leandro Trossard’s stoppage-time equaliser after the long extra time added due to delays during the game.
Managers and officials’ reaction during matches
We have less ‘Diego Simeones’ in the Premier League with restless touchline behaviors during matches. All eyes will be on Mikel Arteta on this particular new rule. He had already got booked during the Community Shield, an inkling of what is to come this season.
All managers and their officials are asked to restrict themselves to the touchline and not enter the pitch or confront referees and other match officials. Coaches who are agressive towards match officials risk yellow cards and in extreme cases red cards.
Managers have always been issued cards before for erratic behaviors on the technical area but this new order serves to further clarify the boundaries and expected behaviors from managers
The offside rule has now been clarified to avoid regular disputes on whether a player is offside or not.
Previously, some pundits disputed whether a player should be deemed offside if the opponent touches the ball before the offside player does even if he/she has a part of his body ahead of the opponent.
It has been clarified by the Premier League that a player will be deemed offside when he has any part of his body ahead of the opponent whether the opponent touches the ball or not.
Only intentional fouls will be penalized
This particular rule seem to be a boost to the defenders and a disservice to forwards. Defenders have been given the license to do all they can to stop goalscoring opportunities as only intentional fouls will be penalized.
This means referees must ensure a tough tackle especially by a defender on a one-on-one situation is intentional before dishing out a card.
This seems like a big boost to a tough player like Casemiro of Manchester United who is known for his strong tackles. Manchester United fans can now heave a sigh of relief as Casemiro is not likely to see the marathon of bookings he picked up last season.
What are your thoughts about the new Premier League rules?