The football lawmakers are looking at a number of strategies to curb the negative aspects of football. Some of them are minor changes, whereas others would significantly potentially change the game and fan’s experience of it.

For instance, they have worked out that there are only 60 actual minutes of play time used out of the two 45 minute halves. Thus, one of the main proposal put forward by the International Football Association Board (Ifab) is to have 30 minutes halves instead. Players and managers such as Gianfranco Zola and Arsenal keeper Petr Cech have echoed their support of such a change in the rules.

“I personally like this rule because there are so many teams who try to take advantage of it because they are winning and wasting time – so I think it is not a bad rule,” he told the BBC.

“Football is fast enough. Some of the changes I don’t like very much, but this is a good one.”





Another significant proposal is changing the order in which penalties are taken, ‘known as ‘ABBA’. BBC says

‘It is similar to a tie-break in tennis, with team A taking the first kick, then team B taking two, then team A taking two. That is a change from the traditional ‘team A, team B, team A, team B’ pattern. New suggestions also include players who are being substituted leaving at the closest part of the touchline to them instead of at the halfway line’

Here are the other main proposals as reported by the BBC:

  • passing to yourself at a free-kick, corner and goal-kick
  • a stadium clock which stops and starts along with the referee’s watch
  • allowing the goal-kick to be taken even if the ball is moving
  • a goal-kick being taken on the same side that the ball went out on
  • a “clearer and more consistent definition” of handball
  • a player who scores a goal or stops a goal with his hands gets a red card
  • a keeper who handles a backpass or throw-in from a teammate concedes a penalty
  • the referee can award a goal if a player stops a goal being scored by handling on or close to the goal-line
  • referees can only blow for half-time or full-time when the ball goes out of play
  • a penalty kick is either scored or missed/saved and players cannot follow up to score to stop encroachment into the penalty area





The changes to the rules seem very interesting. However, if we just look at the 30-minute rule change. If there is only 60minutes actual playing time in a 90minute game, what is there to stop there only being 40minutes actual playing time in a 60-minute game? It seems like no one has answered this question yet. It is a good job these are all merely proposal that will no doubt be debated.

My query is how much are these rules influenced by demands of TV companies for quicker games so they can show more advert. It was the TV companies and revenue that ended up changing the false start rule in athletics. This has led to quicker sprint races, but it has also led to top stars like Usain Bolt being disqualified from finals. His disqualification acts as a reminder that if you change the rules to much you can actually ruining the viewing experience of the fans!

What are your thoughts?
Do you think the rule changes are a good idea?
Which rules would you change?
Please comment and share your thoughts

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