There are several rule changes in football for the new season. There will also be more overtime in Germany, but not as much as at the World Cup. Injury time is still not displayed on the video walls – this requirement is being changed in England.
Long stoppage times of more than ten minutes are not uncommon at the 2023 women’s World Cup and were not uncommon at the 2022 men’s World Cup. Before the World Cup in Qatar, FIFA had announced that it would be replayed more consistently in the future. “We will calculate injury time very precisely and try to make up for the time lost,” said chief referee Pierluigi Collina. However, this approach will only be partially adopted in the Bundesliga.
Long stoppage times like at the World Cup? In Germany only in individual cases
“In individual cases, if it is appropriate, it can happen,” says Lutz Wagner, referee instructor of the DFB, in an interview with the sports show. The rules will also prescribe more stoppage time in the future, there it will be explicitly stated in the future that the time lost when celebrating a goal must be made up for. “I also think that makes sense,” says Wagner.
However, the stoppage time should not be extended as often as in the two World Cups, says Wagner. “We’re also relying a bit on the learning effect of the players so that they don’t delay the game so much so that we don’t need the exorbitantly high overtime.”
Scoreboards in England will show stoppage time in the future
In England, for the 2023/24 season in the 2nd to 4th leagues, there will be a change to an old requirement. Until now, the game clocks on the scoreboards had to be stopped at 45:00 and 90:00 minutes. The responsible league association English Football League (EFL) now allows the clocks to continue.
On the other hand, the following applies both in the UEFA European Cup competitions and at the Women’s World Cup: The clocks must be stopped at 45:00 minutes and 90:00 minutes and, if necessary, at the end of the extra-time halves. The same principle is laid down for the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga for men in the rules of the game of the DFL. For the DFB Cup, the 3rd division or the women’s Bundesliga, the rules of the DFB stipulate stopping the clocks – there are currently no signs of a change anywhere. “Personally, I would be open to that, but I know that there are reservations,” says Wagner.
The background of the rule is the protection of the referees. An example: If a referee initially indicates four minutes of added time and then sees a reason to play even longer, there could be reactions from fans and coaches. At a time when practically everyone in the stadium has a stopwatch on their phone, the question arises as to how up-to-date the rule is.
Is there still time for a goal? In Germany the clocks stop at 45:00 and 90:00 minutes.
Explanation of the decisions of the video assistant remains a test for the time being
At the women’s World Cup, the referees briefly explain the decision as a test after going to the monitor. The announcement has a fixed structure:
What decision scored, such as a penalty kick or a goal not scored.
Which player with which shirt number the punishable offense was committed.
What kind of offense evaluated, for example handball or foul.
A short description of what happened – for example, an arm spread too far during a handball.
“I welcome everything that ensures transparency,” says Wagner, with a view to possible implementation in Germany in the future. So far, the type of announcement remains a problem. After the announced decision, the rest of the statement is often lost in the din of the backdrop. The test procedure has so far been limited to FIFA competitions. FIFA, in cooperation with the IFAB rules committee, still has to clarify whether it will be continued and expanded.
Other key changes to offside, handball and emergency braking
There will be further small changes and clarifications in football for the new season.
Offside: When the ball comes from the opponent, an offside is only broken if the defender plays the ball “under controlled conditions”. “The threshold was set very high,” says Wagner. The IFAB has defined several categories, which means controlled. “In most cases, the offside applies,” says Wagner.
handball: There should be fewer yellow cards in a handball in the penalty area in the future. A warning is now given when preventing a shot on goal, which also means a goal risk, or when preventing a pass for a promising attacking situation. There are also handballs that have an unsportsmanlike character – for example, when a player dives for the ball like a goalkeeper. Of course, there is still a penalty.
DFB referee instructor Lutz Wagner
emergency brake: In the case of an emergency brake in the penalty area, the triple punishment of penalty kick, sending off and subsequent suspension was weakened a long time ago. In a duel that involves the ball, the referees can leave it at yellow. “That has been specified,” says Wagner. “Only when a defender really has no chance of getting the ball does he see the red card.”
People on the pitch: Emotions run high when important goals are scored. At the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar, Argentine substitutes were already on the pitch before a shot by Lionel Messi was even in the goal. “Actually, according to the rules, you shouldn’t have allowed the goal, which of course nobody wants to see. Now, if additional people from the team that scores the goal are on the field, they would also have to intervene in the game to make the goal doesn’t count.”
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