Law changes 20/21

Full presentation

Individual Law changes

Law 1. The Field of Play

  • The goalposts and crossbar may be a combination of the four basic shapes

Law 2. The Ball

  • Wording changed to be consistent with Law 8

Law 4. The Players’ Equipment

  • Wording reflects updates to the FIFA performance standards for EPTS devices

Law 10. Determining the Outcome of a Match

  • Yellow cards (YCs) and warnings are not carried forward into kicks from the penalty mark (KFPM)
  • See also changes to Law 14 relating to KFPM

Law 11. Offside

  • Deliberate handball by a defending player is considered ‘deliberate play’ for offside

Law 12. Fouls and Misconduct

  • Handball:
    • the boundary between the shoulder and the arm is defined as the bottom of the armpit
    • ‘accidental’ handball by an attacking player (or team-mate) is only penalised if it occurs ‘immediately’ before a goal or clear goal-scoring opportunity
  • A goalkeeper can receive a YC or be sent off (RC) for ‘illegally’ touching the ball a second time after a restart (e.g. goal kick, free kick etc.) even if the touch is with the hand/arm
  • Any offence (not only a foul) which ‘interferes with or stops a promising attack’ should result in a YC
  • A player who fails to respect the 4m (4.5 yd) required distance at a dropped ball should receive a YC
  • If the referee plays advantage or allows a ‘quick’ free kick for an offence which ‘interfered with or stopped a promising attack’, the YC is not issued

Law 14. The Penalty Kick

  • An offence by the goalkeeper is not penalised if a penalty kick misses the goal or rebounds from the goal (without a touch from the goalkeeper) unless the offence clearly affected the kicker
  • The goalkeeper is warned for the first offence; it is a YC for any further offence(s)
  • The kicker is penalised if the goalkeeper and the kicker offend at exactly the same time

VAR protocol

  • Only one ‘TV signal’ is required for a VAR-only review


  • Holding offence
  • Restart position