Football League referees have been told to crack down on wasting time, punish dissent and raise their contact threshold for fouls – as the EFL introduce wide-ranging changes ahead of the start of the new season
- Football League referees have been instructed to reduce time-wasters
- They will also increase the penalty threshold for physical contact in tackles
- The Professional Game Match Officials Limited is committed to improving the EFL
- The 2021-22 season saw a record for actual playing time due to time wasting
English Football League referees will be asked to increase their foul threshold, reduce time-wasting and ensure player behavior does not go over the line ahead of the new season.
It is understood that the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the governing body of match officials in England, is committed to making the EFL a better product for the next campaign, which starts this weekend.
He has worked with clubs, the EFL, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and the League Managers’ Association (LMA) to ensure the key decisions made are acceptable to everyone in the game. .
Football League referees have been tasked with making changes this season
Officials have been instructed to adopt a higher threshold for penalizing contacts in challenges, taking into account the number of contacts, their consequences and the attacking player’s motivation. They will also be more vigilant about the sustained holding of set pieces.
After the 2021-22 campaign has seen less playing time than ever before, referees will also be more proactive in limiting wasted time and be ready to penalize players from the start of the game.
Participation behavior will also be heavily managed to ensure that incidents of dissent and other bad behavior are eradicated.
Officials to increase foul award threshold for physical challenges in 2022-23
They will also crack down on unacceptable player behavior
As well as the introduction of five substitutions this season, there is also a minor law change which allows goalkeepers to now have one foot behind the goal line when facing a penalty.
Although last season’s play-off finals at Wembley had VAR, the decision review system will not be in place for the next campaign.
The PGMOL are part of a FIFA working group to help develop ‘VAR Light’ and its possible use, and this would be offered to the EFL if clubs in each division collectively vote to implement it.
It wouldn’t be a quick thing, however, with around 12 months needed to set it up.
The EFL campaign kicks off on Friday with Huddersfield hosting Burnley in the Championship.