The much anticipated Premier League new season kicks off today and there are some things football fans would need to know before watching any of the games.
Cards for time-wasting
Strict measures have been put in place to tackle unnecessary time wasting. For instance, the line referees would exert punishment on players who take too long to take a free kick, goal kick, or corner. These will all be punishable by a yellow card.
For players who sustain an injury or feign injury on the pitch, medical officials would have to take players off the field for treatment.
Treatment will only be allowed on the pitch for players who have suffered an injury from a challenge that warranted a yellow or red or an injury from a collision.
Additional time for every stop
Additional time would be added accurately for every stop during every match. Therefore, the exact time lost when certain match events occur will now be added.
- Goals and subsequent celebrations
- Injuries and treatment time (if required)
- Penalties (from the moment of offense to the whistle for the penalty kick)
- Red cards (from the moment of offense to when the player leaves the field)
Stadium clocks would no longer be stopped at the 90-minute mark and instead run until the completion of each half.
More cards for bad behavior
Players who surround an official when he is trying to make a decision, run towards them to confront them or use physical contact will receive a booking with red cards dished out for offensive language or gestures, or aggression.
Managers will also be carded for leaving their technical area, which includes goal celebrations, or challenging match officials during the game or at half-time and full-time.
There are little changes in other areas of play. For instance, a new modification in the offside law now means if a defender is considered to be in control of the ball, and attempts to gain possession or clears, this would be a ‘deliberate play’.
For the first time, the 2023/24 season could have five Premier League teams qualifying for the UEFA Champions League through their league positions. This is another change to the former four-team law.
Europe’s premier club competition will see it expanded to 36 teams for 2024/25, rather than the typical 32.
Three new officials will operate in this season’s Premier League. Referees Tim Robinson and Darren Bond have been joined by assistant referee Akil Howson.
For the first time since the 2019/20 season, 10 games will be played across two weeks in January to combat the tight match calendar and to enhance player welfare.