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USA/Colombia Copa America match to debut brand new IFAB rule changes

We're making history!

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The United States and Colombia will kick off the Copa America Centenario on Friday and when they do they'll be making history of sorts. Their match will be the first ever to apply some new rule changes made by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Several new rules will be tweaked slightly. However one major change will affect the "double jeopardy" rule. In the past when a denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity (DOGSO) happened inside the penalty area, a red card would be issued to the offender and a penalty kick would be awarded. With the rule change, that is no longer automatically the case. Here's the official explanation:

Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity (DOGSO) in the penalty area is no longer automatically a straight red card, unless: (1) the offense involves holding, pulling or pushing, (2) if there's no attempt to play the ball or no possibility of making a challenge or (3) if the offense would be punishable by a red card, no matter where it happened on the field (i.e., violent conduct).

The rule for players who commit a foul to deny an obvious goalscoring opportunity outside the box has not changed. Those offenses will still earn an automatic red card.

Other adjustments include slight tweaks to the offside rule, kickoffs, and water breaks. Here's the full list:

Offside rule adjustments

  • Hands and arms are no longer included when judging offside.
  • Restarts following offside decisions will be taken at the spot where the attacker is when the referee whistles for offside. For example, if a player is offside when the ball is played, but runs toward his own goal to receive the ball, the free kick to restart play will be taken where the attacker receives the ball, not where he started his run.

Other changes

  • The ball no longer has to move forward at a kickoff. It only needs to move for the game to start.
  • Players who are injured as a result of a red or yellow card foul do not need to leave the field after receiving treatment.
  • On penalty kick attempts, if a goalkeeper moves off his line prior to the ball being kicked, he will be issued an automatic yellow card. If the kick is missed when the goalkeeper moves off his line prior to the ball being kicked, the attempt will be retaken. The rule will apply in penalty kick shootouts, as well as in regular play.
  • If a foul occurs off the field of play, the game will be restarted with a free kick on the sideline or endline. If a defender fouls an attacker off the field but in between the goal and the edge of the penalty area, it will result in a penalty kick. Previously, all fouls that occurred off the field resulted in a drop ball.

  • Time taken for water breaks - which are held if certain weather conditions are met prior to kickoff - can now be officially added on at the end of a half.