2. The new rules
Ninety-five (95) law changes were announced in May, so it will definitely be interesting to see how some of these will work out at the weekend.
The most notable may be the ‘backwards’ kick-offs that were introduced at the European Championships, whereby the ball no longer has to go forward from kick-off.
Referees are also being encouraged to take a stronger stand on intolerable behaviour; which includes a yellow card for arguing face-to-face with officials and a red card for those who confront officials using insulting and/or offensive language/gestures.
Other changes include; a slightly revised offside rule, potential bans for those players deemed to be feigning injury, the introduction of pre-match red cards and an end to the ‘triple punishment’.