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Premier League rule changes: Yellow-card bans, managerial misconduct

ESPN FC's Stevie Nicol and Alexis Nunes go head-to-head in predicting all of the Premier League's opening week fixtures.

The Premier League returns this weekend with a few important tweaks to the rules and regulations. We highlight a few things to look out for. 

Yellow cards

In the past, any yellow card picked up in the Premier League, EFL, FA Cup or Carabao Cup would be totted up together. When a player received five yellow cards they would miss the next match, in whichever competition that may be. Reaching 10 yellow cards would see the player miss the next two games. And 15 would bring a three-game ban.

However, from this season yellow cards will only count in the competition they are received. And this has led to the following changes.

Premier League
- One-match ban if five yellow cards received before 19 Premier League fixtures (Dec. 26 round)
- Further two-match ban if 10 yellow cards received before 32 fixtures (weekend of March 30)
- Further three-match ban if 15 yellows received (no fixture limit)

FA Cup and Carabao Cup:
- One match ban when two yellow cards have been received
- Cut off point will be the quarterfinals, so no player can miss the final through cumulative yellows

Red cards remain unchanged and a player would miss the following matches in any competition, so a dismissal in the Carabao Cup could still see a player miss a Premier League match, and vice versa

Managerial misconduct

The FA is trialling a new system where "yellow and red cards will be issued by match officials for misconduct committed in the technical area." However, in the Premier League warnings shall be "issued verbally without the use of cards."

That means we will only see managers physically be shown yellow and red cards in the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and also in the EFL.

Coaching staff who are booked/verbally warned will get a touchline ban for cumulative offences, just as players would be with yellow cards.

- 4 warnings = 1-match ban
- 8 warnings = 2-match ban
- 12 warnings = 3-match ban
- 16 warnings = Misconduct charge (ban decided by hearing)

The Football Association outlines irresponsible behaviour as:

- Inappropriate language and / or gestures towards the match officials which are an obvious show of dissent or an attempt to influence the decisions of the match officials
- Kicking or throwing water bottles, coats or other similar objects in an obvious show of dissent
- Sarcastic clapping and / or other gestures intended to undermine the authority of the match officials
- Entering the opponents' technical area in an inappropriate manner
- Gesturing waving an imaginary yellow/red card.

Jose Mourinho is no stranger to exchanging words with match officials.
Jose Mourinho is no stranger to exchanging words with match officials.

Handheld devices in the technical area

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) changed the laws of the game in March to allow "the use of electronic and communication equipment in the technical area (small handheld mobile devices), strictly for tactical/coaching purposes and player safety."

That means we will see coaching staff on their iPads checking out the latest ProZone stats while a game is ongoing. 

Extra time in the Carabao Cup

The has been scrapped and now any tie which is still level at the end of 90 minutes will go directly to penalties. 

What about VAR?

Video assistant referees (VAR) were the talk of the World Cup, but the Premier League has decided it is not yet ready for use in its competition and called "for VAR to be used more extensively in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup" on a trial basis. It will be tested in around 60 games this season when cup ties are held at Premier League grounds.

It means the Premier League will be the only major European league not to adopt VAR, with La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue already embracing the technology. However, UEFA is also not yet ready to use VAR in the Champions League and Europa League and will continue to have extra officials behind the goal.

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