The Players

Q1. Why does it say that a match can not continue if a team has fewer than seven players as many people thought this was already the Law?

A1 Until now it was only a recommendation from the International Football Association Board that a match should not continue with fewer than seven players in a team. National Football Associations were allowed to make a ruling but most did not. The Law always said that a match could not start if a team has fewer than seven players so it is logical that this should also apply during the match.

Q2. Why is it now a direct free kick if a substitute or team official interferes with play or an opponent when it used to be an indirect free kick?

A2. There is a growing problem of interference with play or an opponent by substitutes warming up behind the goal line, or team officials, and this must be discouraged. A direct free kick (and a penalty if in their own half) is a strong sanction. This is especially important if a substitute or team officials enter the penalty area and stop a goal. ‘Fair play’ says that awarding a penalty kick restores the lost opportunity to score.



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