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S. Korean league to open new season under new rules

All News 17:37 April 28, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean men's football league will open its new season next month under a new set of international rules, the sport's national governing body said Tuesday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said the top-flight K League 1, when it kicks off on May 8, will "likely be the first competition" to adopt the 2020-2021 Laws of the Game, as announced on April 7 by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

This photo, provided by the Korea Football Association on April 28, 2020, shows referees at a K League 1 match. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The IFAB determines rules that govern association football. The 2020-2021 Laws of the Game were set to take effect on June 1, but leagues that begin their seasons in April or May can start applying them immediately, according to the KFA.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, major European leagues remain on hold. The K League season was to have kicked off on Feb. 29, but the start has been pushed back by more than two months.

Changes for this season include: the goalkeeper is warned for the first offense at penalty kicks and receives a yellow card for further offenses; an offense by the goalkeeper is not penalized if a penalty kick misses the goal or rebounds from the goal without a touch from the goalkeeper, unless the offense clearly affected the kicker; and "accidental" handball by an attacking player or teammate is only penalized if it occurs immediately before a goal or clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Won Chang-ho, director of the KFA's referees committee, said these were not considered substantial changes and K League referees should have little trouble applying the new rules properly in the new season.


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