Roberto Rosetti explains new law amendments

UEFA’s Roberto Rosetti explains new law amendments to be introduced into UEFA competitions

Roberto Rosetti on new laws of the game
Roberto Rosetti on new laws of the game

A series of amendments to football's Laws of the Game will be implemented in UEFA’s competitions when they resume this week.

The amendments, sanctioned by football's lawmakers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), came into effect on 1 June 2020, the official start of the international 2020/21 football season.

They will be adopted by UEFA for the remaining matches in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Women’s Champions League and UEFA Youth League, as well as for 2020/21 club competition qualifying games, which begin this month.

To understand the key new law changes and how they affect the game, we spoke to UEFA’s chief refereeing officer, Roberto Rosetti.

"In general, with the Laws of the Game, there are just a few minor changes,” he said. "The most important changes are about Law 14, on the penalty kicks and Law 10, Determining the Outcome of a match."

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 yellow card for any further offence(s)

• The kicker is penalised if the goalkeeper and the kicker offend at exactly the same time

"In particular," Rosetti adds, "when the goalkeeper saves the kick [by encroaching], it's not a caution for the first offence, but [the keeper] must be cautioned for any further offence.

"Most goalkeeper encroachment results from a mis-anticipation from the goalkeeper and small offences are now detected more with the technology, with the video assistant referee."

Law 10 – Determining the Outcome of a Match

• Yellow cards and warnings are not carried forward into kicks from the penalty mark

For games that require a penalty shootout, yellow cards will no longer be carried forward into the shoot-out. This applies to all players but is particularly relevant to goalkeepers, who face more scrutiny during the shoot-out.

"According to IFAB and according to the Laws of the Game, the kicks from the penalty mark are not part of the match – it's just a way to determine the winner of the match," Rosetti said.

"So, [at the moment] if the goalkeeper has a yellow card from the match – from the match or from extra time – and then encroaches in the kicks from the penalty mark, of course, then he must be sent off.

"This would be more likely to occur now with VAR, and the goalkeeper can be penalised more than other players. We think that this is a good, important change."

These law changes are separate from the temporary measure of allowing five substitutes to be used in the remaining 2019/20 matches, which has been implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full IFAB Laws of the Game 2020/21 can be found here.

A summary of changes for the 2020/21 season is here.