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Copa America 2016: Rule changes announced, including fourth substitute in extra time

Abusing the referee can also result in a penalty being awarded

Copa America
Copa America

The Copa America Centenario has announced that the tournament will implement some last minute rule changes, becoming the first to apply the 2016/17 edition of the ‘Laws of the Game’ released by the IFAB. Prominent among the rule changes are the introduction of a fourth substitute in extra-time, in addition to changes to yellow card accumulation and the offside rule as well.

Here are the major rule changes:

A fourth substitute will be awarded to each team during extra time

Despite the Copa America being a knock-out competition, the only time this scenario can occur is in the finals, as all preceding stages in the tournament will eschew extra-time and go directly to penalties.

Clarifications to the status of yellow card accumulations

A statement from the Copa America Centenario Local Organizing Committee read: “If a player receives two yellow cards in two games during the group stages and quarter-final, they will be suspended for the following game (semi-final). However, once the quarter-finals are completed, card accumulations are reset for the semi-final and final.”

Players’ arms not considered when judging offside position (including goalkeeper)

The reasoning for this rule is that one cannot score with arms, thus, they ought to not be considered for the implementation of the offside rule.

Some DOGSO offences in the penalty area are punished with a YC

DOGSO (Denial of goal-scoring opportunity) offences automatically result in a red card and penalty, which is considered a double punishment and viewed harshly. However, the referee now has the discretion to award some DOGSO fouls a yellow card and award a penalty.

Goalkeeper YC if infringes and PK is retaken

The Goalkeeper will be awarded a yellow card if he comes off his line too early while facing a penalty kick, with the strike being retaken as well.

Potential penalty kick for abusing the referee

“If the ball is in play and a player commits an offence inside the field of play against a team-mate, substitute, substituted player, team official or a match official – a direct free kick or penalty kick.”

In total, there are about 93 amendments to the Laws of the game – here is a summary to the ‘Laws of the Game’ document, that outlines every change that is to be implemented.

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