Peterborough United and the new laws they must learn for next season

Peterborough United have a few new laws to learn for the 2020-21 League One season.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson discussing football with referee Sebastian Stockbridge.Posh boss Darren Ferguson discussing football with referee Sebastian Stockbridge.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson discussing football with referee Sebastian Stockbridge.

The changes are fess less dramatic than those implemented for the 2019-20 campaign, but there have been attempts to give clarity to the handball and offside regulations, but otherwise it’s just a bit of tinkering with the current laws.

VAR, which has added controversy rather than clarity to football, also gets a mention, but sadly it remains in place for next season.


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IFAB (the international Football Association Board) have sought to clarify where on the arm constitutes a handball and what is deserving of a handball offence.

Basically anything below the armpit is a handball and if an attacking player accidentally touches the ball with their hand/arm and it leads to the ball going to a team-mate who immediately scores, it is deemed a handball which is the case now.

But if a player accidentally touches the ball with their hand/arm and it travels ‘some distance’ (via a pass/dribble) or there are several passes before a goal or goal-scoring opportunity, it is not deemed to be handball.


Players can now be shown a yellow card for ‘failing to respect the required distance’ when play is restarted with a dropped ball, the same as with a throw-in, corner or free-kick.’

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Goalkeepers can now be shown a yellow or red card if they have deliberately played the ball a second time after a restart, such as a goal kick or free kick, before it has touched another player.

If a goalkeeper stops a promising attack or deny a goal-scoring opportunity while doing it they will be cautioned or sent off.


When a referee plays advantage following the denial of a goal-scoring opportunity, the red card becomes a yellow card.

Likewise, if the referee plays advantage for an offence which interfered with or stopped a promising attack, the yellow card is not shown.


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An amendment has been made to the offside law regarding a player receiving the ball in an offside position following a deliberate action from an opponent.

Previously, a player in the offside position is not deemed to have gained an advantage when receiving a pass or header from an opponent. The law now includes deliberate handball.

The IFAB note says: ‘As ‘legal’ deliberate play (e.g. a kick or header) causes a player in an offside position to no longer be offside, ‘illegal’ play should have the same outcome.’

A ‘deliberate save’ landing at the feet of a player in an offside position will see the player flagged as offside.


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If a goalkeeper commits an offence during a penalty kick and the kick is missed (not saved – ie goes wide or hits the woodwork) it won’t have to be retaken.

The penalty would only be retaken if the goalkeeper’s action ‘had a clear impact on the kicker’.

If the penalty is saved by the goalkeeper they are warned and it is retaken.


The laws of the game now state that it is appropriate for an ‘on-field review’ for all subjective decisions, such as intensity of a foul and offside interference.

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For factual decisions – offside, location, ball out of play – it is advised that in some cases an ‘on-field review’ is appropriate if it will help manage players/managers/the match to ‘sell’ the decision.

In addition, only one ‘TV signal’ is needed for a ‘VAR-only review’ (unless a signal is also required after stopping play).

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