The 2021/22 Premier League season will see a few important rule changes that could affect Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Brentford
Handball rule change
One of the first rules that is being altered is the accidental handball rule.
The change means that any accidental handball in the build-up to a goal will no longer be deemed an offence.
Fans of Premier League clubs had criticised the decision to disallow Fulham’s goal against Spurs last term, with Mario Lemina’s perceived handball the build-up to the Cottagers equaliser ruled out by VAR.
The new rule states: “A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalised.”
VAR offside lines
The Premier League will use thicker lines next season when determining offside calls.
Fans became increasingly frustrated at goals being chalked off for offside when players appeared level with the defensive line and the Premier League have decided to tackle these complaints by introducing thicker lines.ADVERTISEMENT
The aim is to eliminate situations where a goal is ruled out due to a players’ toe being offside, something Arsenal fans experienced when Bukayo Saka was adjudged to be marginally offside against Fulham last season.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have agreed upon the introduction of thicker lines, however it is unclear how thick the lines will be as of yet.
FIFA has also decided that only the bottom of player’s armpit should be considered as offside from now on after there was confusion surrounding what part of player’s bodies was and wasn’t offside.
The Premier League have still not confirmed whether teams will be permitted 18 or 20-man matchday squads after amending the rule midway through last season due to the pandemic.
However, it is likely that the three-sub rule will remain, with EFL clubs reverting to three substitutions per game after doing five substitutions last season.