The Confederation of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) Cup will be one of the tournaments to effect new football laws which the International Football Association Board (Ifab) has introduced.
The 95 changes that come into effect this month, include the end of an automatic red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. Malawi goalkeeper Charles Swini was one of the players to be spared due to the new law when he fouled Zimbabwe striker Knowledge Musona in the box to concede a penalty but only got a yellow card.
Law three has been changed so that if a substitute, sent-off player or match official interferes with play, causing the game to be stopped, it will result in a direct free-kick or penalty. Previously indirect free-kick or drop-ball.
The changed laws give a referee the authority to take action from when they enter the field of play for the pre-match inspection, not from the start of the game. This means players could be sent off for an offence committed while warming up.
Players injured by opponents who are then sent off do not need to leave the pitch for treatment.
At kick off, the ball no longer has to move forward, it just has to move for the game to start.
Hands and arms are not included when judging offside while free-kicks for offside can be taken from where the offside player received the ball.
Violent conduct is punishable by a red card even if no contact is made. An offence against a match official will result in a direct free-kick or penalty.
A penalty can now be awarded if it happens parallel to the penalty area.
When taking a penalty kick, players who feint to kick the ball once they have taken a run-up will get booked for unsporting behaviour and goalkeepers who come off their line too early will also be booked.
Flames team manager Clement Kafwafwa said they had taken some time to explain the new rules and regulations to the players.
“We had sessions on the new rules while in camp. We knew these rules would come into effect by June,” Kafwafwa said.
Team doctor Levi Mwale hailed the change to allow treating players on the field of play.
“In the past we were actually chased from the field of play while treating the injured player,” he said.
Coach Ernest Mtawali said Malawi had a bitter experience at 2015 Cecafa when the Flames conceded a goal soon after defender Miracle Gabeya was injured and was being treated off the field of play.
“Uganda took advantage of the absence of Gabeya crossed he ball and scored. The changes will at least bring fairness,” Mtawali said.