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Match Officials

Everything you need to know about refereeing ahead of the new EFL season

28 July 2022

As the 2022/23 campaign beckons, here’s all you need to know about changes to match officiating ahead of the season.

Are there any changes to the referee lists?

Select Group 2 (Sky Bet Championship) 

Kevin Friend is now a Select Group 2 (SG2) Manager so will therefore no longer officiate on field, while referees James Bell and Bobby Madley have been promoted to SG2.

Four new assistant referees – Andrew Aylott, Greg Read, Matt Smith and Mark Stevens – have been promoted to the SG2 refereeing team.

National Group (Sky Bet League One & Sky Bet League Two)

Sunny Gill, Tom Parsons, Tom Kirk, Adam Herczeg and Martin Woods have now been promoted onto the National Group list.

Referee Bobby Madden has transferred from the Scottish FA to the National Group due to re-location south of the border.

Six new assistant referees have been promoted to the National Group, they are Jack Clench, Blake Antrobus, Alan Cresswell, Alex Gray, Jake Topp and Steve Durnall.

Select Group 1 (Premier League)

Tom Bramall has been promoted to the Select Group 1 (SG1) referee list and Natalie Aspinall, Steve Meredith and Nick Greenhalgh have all achieved promotion to the SG1 assistant referees list. 

Are there any staff changes?

Alan Wiley has moved into a coaching role within Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and Adam Gale-Watts has taken overall responsibility of both Select Group 1 and 2.

What law changes will be implemented?

Normal substitutes:

In league matches teams will be able to name seven substitutes and use five of those, limited to three opportunities during the game. Changes at half-time do not count as an opportunity.

Concussion substitutes:

Two concussion substitutes are permitted, and a green cardmust be completed and given to the 4th official. The opposing team receives an additional substitute and an additional substitution opportunity. However, the additional substitution opportunity can only be used for the additional substitute as a result of the concussion.

Penalty kicks:

There are very few law changes this season. One clarification is that when the ball is kicked at a penalty the goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot touching, in line with, or behind, the goal line.

Is there a new kit for the new season?

The new kit for the campaign has been revealed as below.

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Is there any additional guidance?

In order to work together successfully, on and off the pitch, guidance has been issued in the following areas.

Threshold on the pitch:

Contact is an acceptable part of football, and contact alone does not mean there is a foul. The  preference is not to penalise minimal contact. Match officials will consider the consequence of contact, action of defender and the motivation of the attacking player when deciding whether a challenge should be penalised. 

Delaying the restart:

Referees will work together with players, taking a proactive and stepped management approach to reduce undue delay (time wasting).  The action of the player(s) and the consequence of that action will be considered, and where that action results in a clear delay to the restart the player runs a risk of a caution.

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