Often used as a testbed for new rules in football, it is always interesting to monitor the Club World Cup and its slight officiating changes and this year’s competition is no different.
Two years ago, VAR was tested in the competition and now is used across European football having also been used in a World Cup.
What’s most striking about this year’s tournament is that the rule that prevents opposition players from intercepting a goal kick is set to be abolished.
As things stand, no player can touch the ball in the 18-yard box after a goalkeeper restarts play, but that is set to change.
Players will still have to be outside the area when the kick is taken, but are then free to move forward and intercept, bringing an end to one of football’s most bizarre rules.
In addition, substitutions will no longer have to leave the field at the halfway line and will have to leave the pitch at the point nearest to them in order to reduce attempts at time wasting.
As for discipline, players who are sent off will miss their subsequent match, irrespective of the competition.
The rule changes must be approved in March before becoming official but they are already being experimented in Abu Dhabi at the on-going Club World Cup