Law changes for 1997-98

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Law changes for 1997-98

Law Four - Players' equipment

If thermal shorts are worn, they are of the same main colour as the shorts.

Law Five - The referee

Ensures that any player bleeding from a wound leaves the field of play.

Law Eight - The start and restart of play

The team which wins the toss decides which goal it will attack in the first half of the match. The other team takes the kick-off to start the match.

A goal may be scored from the kick-off.

The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward.

Law 12 - Fouls and misconduct

An indirect free-kick is awarded if a goalkeeper handles the ball after receiving it from a throw-in from his own team.

Unsporting behaviour has replaced ungentlemanly conduct as a cautionable offence.

Failing to respect the required distance when play is restarted and delaying the restart of the play have become cautionable offences.

The International Football Association Board decisions 13 and 14, which relate to the denial of obvious goal-scoring opportunities, have now become law.

Using offensive, insulting or abusive language has replaced foul or abusive language.

Law 13 - Free-kicks

The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.

Law 14 - The penalty kick

The defending goalkeeper remains on his goal line, facing the kicker, between the goal posts until the ball has been kicked. The phrase "without moving his feet" has been deleted.

Players who enter the penalty area before the ball has been kicked need not now be cautioned.

Law 16 - The goal kick

A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick.

Law 17 - The corner kick

The ball is placed inside the corner arc at the nearest corner flag post.

The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.

Mandatory instructions to referees

1: Referees must not permit goalkeepers to take more than four steps while holding the ball as stipulated in Law 12.

2: If the goalkeeper holds the ball for longer than 5 to 6 seconds, the referee must adjudge it as time-wasting and award an indirect free- kick.

3: Under no circumstances may the referee take part in any experiment either with the laws or with anything else, such as wearing a microphone during the match, without proper authorisation.