2021-22 season to get tougher with new Premier League rules

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Referee chief Mike Riley has revealed that next season won’t be game as usual, as the referee body has decided that the threshold will be raised for next season. Easy penalties won’t be given compared to last season, and goals won’t be called off based on toenails offside decisions we saw last term.

There were 125 spot-kicks awarded in the English top flight last term – the most in the competition’s history, and it didn’t speak well of the competition.

Mike Riley, the general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, has revealed some of the changes we’d see next season.

“The clear message to us through the survey from all the players was football is about contact. We don’t want the trivial things being penalised,” Riley said.

“So, the principles we established are referees should look for contact and establish clear contact. Then ask themselves the question, ‘Does that contact have a consequence?’ And then ask themselves the question, ‘Has the player used that contact to actually try and win a foul or a penalty’. So it’s not sufficient just to say, ‘Yes, there’s contact’.”

“I think that’s the feedback we’ve had from players, both attackers and defenders, Mike replied when asked if the new instructions would stop forwards from actively looking for penalties.

“You want it to be a proper foul that has a consequence, not something that somebody has used the slightest of contact to go over and we’ve given the penalty to reward it.”

Riley also revealed that penalties will be awarded to players this time around even if they stayed on their feet after being fouled.

“We made a mistake in a game last season where there was clear contact, the player stayed on his feet, went wide, lost the ball,” he continued.

“We should’ve gone back and given the penalty. I think, had we done so, that would have reassured players that that’s our approach, because that’s what it is.”

Riley also revealed that “toenail” offsides won’t be given next season.

“It’s the toenails, the noses of players that are offside. They might have been offside last year. Next season, they won’t be,” Mike said.

In conclusion, Riley also revealed that some lessons would be taken from the Euro 2020 mistakes to impove the refereeing in the Premier League next term.

“Tournament football’s different to all domestic competitions,” he concluded.

“We referee in the way that best suits Premier League football. But we take the positives out of the Euros.

“Raising the threshold for on field intervention, I think, is a good thing. Making sure that VARs intervene only when we’ve got clear and obvious evidence is another good thing as well.”

What do you think of the new rules?

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