Verbal abuse by players to be punished with an indirect free kick in the new PSL season rules

10 August 2017 - 13:58 By Mark Gleeson
Yannick Zakri of Malmelodi Sundowns receiving a yellow card during the Absa Premiership match between Highlands Park and Mamelodi Sundowns at Makhulong Stadium on May 27, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Yannick Zakri of Malmelodi Sundowns receiving a yellow card during the Absa Premiership match between Highlands Park and Mamelodi Sundowns at Makhulong Stadium on May 27, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images

Tweaks to the rules of the game are to be implemented from Friday night when the start of the MTN8 heralds the beginning of the new season as worldwide adoption of changes to the laws comes into effect.

Match officials have already been briefed about the changes decided earlier this year by the International Football Association Board‚ the body that administers the rules of football‚ and have to start applying them from the opening quarter-final between Bidvest Wits and Lamontville Golden Arrows in Johannesburg.

But as opposed to last year‚ when significant offside rule changes were made‚ the latest from the IFAB is largely procedural and will not affect spectators’ understanding of the game.

Of the new changes to look out for‚ these are the most important:

*At the kick off‚ the player kicking the ball can do so by standing in the opponent’s half.

(Last season the rule of a single player in the centre circle to take the kick off came into affect plus the chance to kick it backwards. All this now means is that the player taking the kick off‚ usually with his back to the opponents’ goal‚ can stand on the other side of the centre line as he plays the ball backwards)

*Verbal abuse by players (towards the ref or opponents) is now punished with an indirect free kick.

*A defender stopping a promising attack in the penalty area is no longer automatically cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball

*Players whose celebrations cause security or safety issues must now be booked

*Entering the field of play without permission and then preventing a goal or denying an obvious goal scoring chance is now an automatic sending off offence. (This would usually apply to players re-entering the field after receiving medical treatment or changing their apparel)

*Feinting before a penalty kick is taken is now illegal and the kicker doing so must be cautioned. (Players can feint before they take the kick but once they are in their delivery stride they can no longer try and fool the keeper)

*A short drinks break is permitted at half-time of extra time. (Before teams had to immediately cross over and re-start the second half of extra time without any break).

*Goalkeepers who offend in a penalty shootout (usually by moving off their line before the kick is taken) and force the kick to be re-taken must be cautioned.

- TimesLIVE

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