Cape Town - The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has announced five major rule changes that will be implemented for the upcoming 2019/20 season.
The IFAB on Tuesday held its 133rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Aberdeen, Scotland that was attended by representatives from FIFA and the football associations of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Discussions focused on several areas aimed at fine-tuning the Laws for the benefit of the game as well as an assessment of the use of Video Assistant Referees (VARs).
On the topic of defining handball, a decision was taken by The IFAB to provide a more precise and detailed definition for what constitutes handball, in particular with regard to the occasions when a non-deliberate/accidental handball will be penalised.
For example, a goal scored directly from the hand/arm (even if accidental) and a player scoring or creating a goal-scoring opportunity after having gained possession/control of the ball from their hand/arm (even if accidental) will no longer be allowed.
"Deliberate handball remains an offence," IFAB Technical Director David Elleray told the BBC.
"In the past, we've managed to improve the laws by focusing on the outcome rather than intent.
"What we are looking at particularly in attacking situations is where the player gets a clear unfair advantage by gaining possession or control of the ball, as a result of it making contact with their hand or arm."
"We've changed it to say the body has a certain silhouette," said Elleray. "If the arms are extended beyond that silhouette then the body is being made unnaturally bigger, with the purpose of it being a bigger barrier to the opponent or the ball.
"Players should be allowed to have their arms by their side because it's their natural silhouette."
The AGM also approved changes to the Laws of the Game related to a player being substituted having to leave the field of play at the nearest boundary line, yellow and red cards for misconduct by team officials and the ball not having to leave the penalty area at goal kicks and defending team free kicks in the penalty area.
Additional approved Law changes included: measures to deal with attacking players causing problems in the defensive 'wall', changing the dropped ball procedure, giving a dropped ball in certain situations when the ball hits the referee and the goalkeeper only being required to have one foot on the line at a penalty kick.
It was agreed that FIFA, together with The IFAB, will continue to drive and assist the global implementation of VAR.