Football is changing. No, I mean, it's really, seriously, changing.
For better or for worse? We'll soon see. But the powers that be at the head of world football rules, IFAB (International Football Association Board) have declared that from next season, the ball can move in any direction from kick off - meaning it doesn't have to go forward anymore.
It could really revolutionise the game. Imagine. We may now only see one player in the centre circle at kick off as they'll now be able to directly pass the ball to a teammate behind them, but it's up to the clubs and countries playing the game to come up with something creative to earn an early advantage.
We could end up seeing more crazy kick off patterns in the ilk of Sampdoria's odd kick off from last season against Lazio - where they famously lined up with all of their players on the half way line.
Regarding other rule alterations, referees now have the power to send players off BEFORE a match kicks off, and finally, finally, injured players are again able to receive treatment on the pitch as opposed to on the sidelines. So hopefully, that'll put an end to the silly ruling of players needing to be waved back onto the field when their team is defending.
Punishments for denying a goalscoring opportunity have now been softened - or at least referees can be softer in their decisions should they wish following an accidental or non-dangerous clash - lessening the possibility of the triple jeopardy of red card, penalty and subsequent suspension.
And a two-year trial period for video technology is coming into play too. Bloomin' heck.
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