How the Premier League’s Rule Changes Could Affect FIFA 20

The 2019/20 Premier League season looks like it will be a season remembered for its decision to use VAR – Video Assistant Referees. Lots of rule changes have been put in place by the FA, and they will no doubt impact FIFA 20 too.

Of course, VAR is not the only change being introduced to the Premier League. Different goal kick procedures, offside rules and free kick tactics have been implemented throughout the whole of the league. With FIFA 20 being the realistic representation of the beautiful game, EA will surely have to include these adaptations, and they could well impact the way players play the game.

We’ve already outlined the 10 changes that fans actually want to see in FIFA 20, but these are the big changes we can expect to see if EA wants its flagship football game to continue to be a true representation of the English league.

Goal kicks will favour the passing game

For a few years now FIFA has added gameplay tweaks that allow players to have more success with the ‘Tika-Taka’ approach. This looks set to be the case in FIFA 20 with the new rule that a defender can be passed to within the penalty box for a goal-kick.

This will mean that there will be no more annoying moments when an attacker intercepts the ball before it even reaches the first defender. Plus, there’s no need to hoof the ball up long if you don’t have players who can win the ball. This new rule could be a game-changing addition to FIFA 20; one that puts a higher emphasis on possession and passing.

Offside rules and VAR

FIFA has always included a system where referees never get it wrong. Offsides are always called correctly and cars are warranted. But the inclusion of VAR will pose a challenging question to EA as it is used to sometimes overrule the referee. It will also mean that there could be pauses in the game where cutscenes take place to show the VAR process.

Will EA want to show referees getting it wrong, and then being overturned? Doubtful. What we did see with the inclusion of goal-line technology in FIFA was that is showed how the ref was correct. This is probably the most likely example of how it’ll be used. Either way, expect sterner rules for offside and an emphasis on controlling player runs.

Free Kicks and short passes

Teaser footage for FIFA 20 has already shown that free kicks are getting an overhaul. But the new rule changesindicate that no attacking players can be in the defending wall, and must in fact be one meter away from the wall. Typically in FIFA, attacking players don’t play too much of a role in the wall, but this rule will impact attacking scenarios.

One of the most effective free kick tactics in FIFA 19 was to pass the ball short to an attacking player who can then shoot with a much better angle. This will still be able to happen in FIFA 20, but the pass will have to be a longer one, meaning there’s more of a chance of it being intercepted. The inclusion of this rule in FIFA 20 may well mean that a short free kick is much less impactful, and may stop it completely.


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