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EPL reverts to old substitutes law, approves VAR for 2020/21 season

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The Premier League has reverted to the old substitutes law, which allowed for only three changes in a game rather then the five used when the league resumed after the COVID-19 induced suspension.

The league also adopted the VAR system for the 2020/21 season, which kicks off in September.

A statement by the league yesterday reads, “At the Premier League’s Annual General Meeting today, Shareholders agreed to rules relating to VAR and substitute players for the 2020/21 season.

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“Shareholders unanimously approved the implementation of VAR, in line with the full FIFA VAR protocol.

“Clubs also agreed to revert back to using up to three substitute players per match, with a maximum of seven substitutes on the bench.”

The statement made available to The Guardian also approved an increased use of Referee Review Area (RRA), “which will be used for subjective decisions in the three key areas – goals, red cards and penalty kicks;

“Goalkeeper encroachment on penalty kicks: The protocol does not allow for tolerance levels, so if the goalkeeper saves a penalty and his foot is over the line then VAR will advise it is retaken. If the goalkeeper is off his line and the ball hits the post or goes over, it won’t be retaken unless the ‘keeper has a material impact on the kick being missed;

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“Player encroachment on penalty kicks: It is now judged on any part of a player’s body that is on the ground when the kick is taken. So if any part of the foot is on the penalty area or arc line it is encroachment. The player must still have a material impact on the outcome of the kick;

“Offsides: The protocol does not allow for tolerance levels;

“Keeping the flag down for tight marginal offside offences: When an immediate goal scoring opportunity is likely to occur, the assistant referee will keep their flag down until the passage of play is completed.

Once the goal scoring opportunity is complete, either a goal is scored or the chance is gone, the assistant will then raise the flag to indicate the initial offence. If a goal is scored the VAR will then review the offside judgment.”

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