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Football as we know it could be about to change forever

The IFAB have announced plans to reduce game time in a radical shake-up

Most of us don’t really have many issues with the way football is right now, do we?

So trust the governors in charge of football to attempt a radical shake-up of the way it is played.

Football’s law-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), have revealed plans to change the way football is played.

The headline changes include reducing the game time to 60 minutes and passing to yourself from a corner kick.

IFAB have outlined the chances in a document entitled ‘Play Fair!’ which would bring in the radical changes.

Here’s a brief outline of all the changes that have been discussed.

1 60 minute matches, with 30 minute halves

The big change would be bringing in an hour long match, with 30 minute halves.

This change would include the clock being stopped when it goes out of play, similar to the way Rugby Union is played.

IFAB say in the document that this would be done to reduce time-wasting.

It claims: “Many people are very frustrated that a typical 90-minute match has fewer than 60 minutes of effective (actual) playing time (EPT) i.e. when the ball is in play.”

Howard ‘Two watches’ Webb

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Howard ‘Two watches’ Webb

2 Passing to yourself from corner kicks and free-kicks

Rather than taking a short corner to a team-mate, you could now kick the ball to yourself.

It would also allow setting yourself up for a volley from a free-kick, which, admittedly, would be pretty sweet.

Thought we’d forgotten about this? Still sends shivers down our spine

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Thought we’d forgotten about this? Still sends shivers down our spine

3 Stadium clocks that stop and start with the referee’s watch

Pretty self-explanatory, but anyone that has gone to a similar sporting event means that you’ll get one group of annoying fans who countdown ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1…’ when the end of the game comes.

The worlds biggest game of bingo

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The worlds biggest game of bingo

4 Goal kicks to be taken even if the ball is moving

This one seems fair enough. It seems strange that the ball has to be stationary when a keeper takes a kick.

Look at that stationary ball. You might not see it very often in the future.

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Look at that stationary ball. You might not see it very often in the future.

5 Penalties will only be scored or missed, and no-one can follow up

To stop encroachment in the area, this idea for discussion would mean the player can only kick the ball goalwards, and it would be a simple score or miss situation.

No follow-ups, no encroachment in the area, no Messi/Suarez penalty antics.

Good luck trying to bring this rule in…

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Good luck trying to bring this rule in…

6 Awarding a goal if the ball is handled near or on the goal-line

Talking of Luis Suarez, that goal he stopped against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup would have been awarded as a goal under the new rules.

Similarly, if a player tries to punch the ball in the net at the other end, they could face being sent off.

Take that, Diego Maradona – 30 years too late.

We know it’s three decades later, but seriously, HOW did the referee not see this?

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We know it’s three decades later, but seriously, HOW did the referee not see this?

Hmm, some of these changes might have some merit to them, some perhaps less so. We’ll wait and see.


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