Premier League managers will be able to watch replays of key moments on mobile devices from behind the touchline after rules were reportedly relaxed.
Coaches will now be able to scrutinise passages of play and any controversial moments on smartphones and tablets as the footage is passed to them by analysts in the stands, according to The Times.
The rules were changed to help managers and coaches with their tactics while acknowledging that it is not possible to prevent the underhand use of devices.
According to past rules, the use of electronic devices was limited to where it concerned player safety or welfare. Managers previously would have had to wait until half-time to review any footage.
However, the new guidelines reportedly state that managers seen to abuse the system, confronting officials about decisions made in the game, can be shown a red or yellow card and even have their phones taken away.
The rule change, which applies to Football League managers too, also prohibits managers and coaches from showing their phones to players on the pitch as it is considered interfering with the game.
It is still unclear whether live streams of the game will be banned from the dugout, as it is currently.
The International Football Association Board told the newspaper it was “impossible to prevent communication to/from the technical area” and that it was “reasonable to have an exchange of information relating to coaching/tactics or player welfare” but not relating to officials’ decisions.
The Football Association’s instructions now say: “The use of any form of electronic communication by team officials is permitted where it directly relates to player welfare or safety or for tactical/coaching reasons but only small, mobile, handheld equipment (eg microphone, headphone, earphone, earpiece, mobile phone/smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop) may be used.
“A team official who uses unauthorised equipment or who behaves in an inappropriate manner as a result of the use of electronic or communication equipment will be dismissed from the technical area.”