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Football players to now leave field from nearest touch line

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Aberdeen (Scotland), March 6: Starting from June 1, when a substitution is made in a football match, the player will leave the field from his nearest touch line instead of touching the centre circle — so as to avoid wastage of time.

And misconduct by team officials will also now invite red and yellow cards for misconduct.

These are among the sweeping measures the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has taken at its its 133rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held here.

The meeting was chaired by the President of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Alan McRae, and was attended by representatives from FIFA and the football associations of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Leaving the field from the nearest touch line will reduce waste of time. In some occasions, it has been noticed that the winning team coach changed a player at the fag end of a match just to waste time.

Some other changes made are: No attacking team players can stand on the wall of the defending team when a free kick is taken; allowing a dropped ball in certain situations when the ball hits the referee and the goalkeeper is required to have one foot on the line during a penalty kick. 

At the time of goal kick or free kick inside the penalty box, other players can touch the ball inside the box.

In case a ball touches a player's hand and crosses the goal line, the goal will be cancelled and handball will be decided as an infringement even if it is unintentional.

The IFAB met on March 2. The new rules will come into effect from June 1.

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