IT'S not long before Colchester United report for pre-season training.

And John McGreal’s side – along with their League Two rivals - will have to adapt to some law changes in the EFL which will come into force for the 2019-20 campaign.

A dozen rule changes have been made by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and will be implemented when the new season gets under way on August 3.

Here are some of the changes to have been made, ahead of the U’s forthcoming campaign.


ATTACKING teams can no longer have a player in the defensive wall - or next to it - for free-kicks.

This applies to when a defending team has three or more players in a wall.

The attacking team will be penalised with an indirect free-kick being awarded against them, if they have a player standing within one yard of the wall when the kick is taken.

The IFAB say that the presence of attackers in a defensive wall is ‘against the spirit of the game’.

In addition, if a referee is about to show a card he can now wait until the ball goes out of play before brandishing it.

This is designed to prevent the non-offending team from being punished should they take a quick free-kick and create a scoring chance as the old rules stated that the card would have to be shown before the free-kick could be taken.


SPOT-KICKS cannot be taken while the goalkeeper is touching the woodwork or nets - or if the net or posts are still moving after being touched.

In addition, the keeper must have one of his feet partly on the goal-line when the penalty is taken – or above the goal-line when the kick is taken.

The goalkeeper is not allowed to stand either behind or in front of the goal-line.


ONE of the biggest frustrations in the modern-day game for supporters is time-wasting – so this rule change should help ease such problems.

To stop such antics, a player must leave the pitch by the nearest point on the touchline or by-line if he has been substituted or risk being booked for unsporting behaviour.

It is designed to stop players from deliberately walking slowly across the field late in games and wasting time.

The only exception will be if the referee says he can leave quickly at the halfway line or elsewhere on the pitch for safety or injury reasons.


THERE have been changes to drop balls – which will no longer be contested.

If a team is on the attack and the game is stopped, they will get the ball back in that position.

The ball will be dropped to a player on the team that last touched the ball, with all other players having to be at least 4.5 yards away.

However, the ball will go back to the keeper if play is stopped in either penalty area – even if the attacking team had the ball when the game was stopped.

In addition, a drop ball will now be awarded if the ball hits the referee and falls to the other team or goes into the goal as a result.


A PLAYER can now be shown a yellow card for removing his shirt or celebrating with the fans in celebration - even if the goal is disallowed.

The previous rule was such that there would be no caution if an effort had been chalked off.