While everyone has been engulfed with the excitement, shenanigans, goals and surprises packaged in Euro 2016, only a few have actually cared to inquire about why most teams at Euro 2016 kick-off with just one player in the center circle.
WalesOnline were the first to point this out and investigate the reason why.
The reason for this is because UEFA has changed a long standing football rule which states that the ball must go forward on kick-off.
Former referee David Elleray broke down the rule change as well as other alterations made by UEFA. Speaking to the Guardian, Elleray said:
“The current law says that the ball must go forward at kick-off and players have to be in their own half.
The rule has been changed to allow the ball to go in any direction at kick-off as long as it moves.”
Another rule modified by UEFA as explained by David Elleray says that “If a (non-playing) substitute comes onto the pitch and dives and stops the goal, it is an indirect free-kick.”
And then there is the unlikely but not unforeseen situation in which a team physician comes onto the field during play. “If the doctor does it, it is a drop ball, which again is wrong for football. Their team benefits from breaking the law. So they will become direct free-kicks or penalty kicks.”
The final soccer rule modified by UEFA which has been enacted in the Euros states that players who exhibit violent conduct while in the tunnel prior to kick-off can be shown a straight red card but both teams can still start with eleven players on the pitch. The red-carded individual will be replaced by one of the substitutes, and thus the team will have to play with fewer substitutes.