There is always controversy surrounding football. Whether it be a handball, or time-wasting, no game can run perfectly without any contentious incidents occurring. Occasionally, the laws of the game will be altered or new ones will be introduced in order to try and ensure the game is as equitable as possible. Recently, the International Football Association Board announced that the new season would come with alterations to four pivotal laws, which will drastically affect areas of the game.

The first of these topics being handballs; a persistent debate in the world of football. A more precise definition has been generated for a handball with regards to whether an accidental handball should be penalised or not. It has now been decided that if an unjust advantage is gained from the use of a hand such as a goal being scored or created, the use of the hand is to be deemed illegal. This is a big change to current football, where there is a lot of ambiguity over what constitutes a handball. Nowadays, referees will make their own decision on whether the handball was deliberate or not, but in the coming season, there will be fewer exceptions for accidental handballs. 

Another decision made by the IFAB was to alter the laws of substitution in spite of the always present time-wasting in a game of football. Players are no longer required to exit the pitch at the halfway line, which would lead to a slow lingering walk if their team was in the lead, but they are now asked to leave the pitch at the nearest boundary of the pitch.

Whether it be Jose Mourinho or Jurgen Klopp, there have been many cases of excessive celebrations from managers. However, it will be cases like these that will see the team officials receive a yellow or red card in the upcoming season. Instead of receiving suspensions or being sent to the stands to spectate the game, team officials will now be punished as players are for their misconduct such as verbal abuse to the match officials or immoderate celebrations.

The final major change made by the IFAB involves the composition of the wall when defending a free-kick. Attacking players are now prohibited from standing in the wall and making attempts to disrupt the defenders within it. They will now be forced to stand at least one metre from the wall as a result of the subtle tactic being increasingly employed.

In my opinion, I believe these changes could help make the game more just if  utilised effectively. However, the onus is as always placed on the officials to ensure these laws are abided by and if not, these rules will serve no purpose but to create more controversy within the game.