Global rule changes approved, won't go into effect in MLS until 2020

The International Football Association Board officially unveiled several expected changes to the FIFA Laws of the Game on Tuesday, though those changes won't be implemented in MLS until next season.

The adaptations include more specific guidelines for when a referee should call a handball, a change to the substitution procedure to make exiting players leave via the nearest boundary, changes to allow the showing of red and yellow cards to team officials, as well as changes to goal kick restarts.

These changes go into effect in all FIFA sanctioned competitions that begin after June 1, and therefore won't apply to MLS this year.

With respect to handling, all handballs ruled to be deliberate are still to be penalized. A handball will also be penalized in situations where the player's body is made bigger by the position of his/her hand or arm, or if a player's arm is above his/her head. Additionally, a free kick will be given in the case of an accidental handball if it directly contributes to the scoring of a goal or the creation of a goalscoring opportunity.


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