Gary Lineker suggests rule changes for free-kicks and throw-ins in football

  • Rob Swan
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Football is arguably the greatest sport in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

There’s always room for improvement, hence why football’s lawmakers could soon introduce some subtle changes to the game’s rules.

It was revealed by the Telegraph last month that the International FA Board (Ifab) are considering altering the way penalties are taken.

Ifab’s new rule would make penalties “one shot” only, which means rebounds wouldn’t count anymore. Once the keeper had blocked the penalty, the ball would be deemed “dead” and a goal-kick would be awarded. (Read more about that potential rule change HERE).

The same organisation are also considering a rule change regarding substitutions, whereby any player who is subbed off would need to leave the pitch via the closest touchline rather than slowly walking across the pitch to the technical area.

This rule change would be designed to combat the problem of time-wasting, which managers and players of winning teams often cynically use to their own advantage. (Read more about that potential rule change HERE).

But while Ifab mull over their plans for those rule changes, former England international Gary Lineker has two interesting ideas of his own.

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The first involves free-kicks. Lineker believes teams awarded free-kicks shouldn’t need to wait for the referee’s whistle or for the opposing team to set up a wall.

He also believes players should be able to take a free-kick to themselves.

“There’s a couple of little things I would like to change,” the Match of the Day host said on the Behind Closed Doors podcast, per the Mirror.

“Free-kicks - you should be able to take them immediately - even to yourself.”


Lineker also wants to see a radical change to the way throw-ins are taken.

"I would get rid of throw-ins and just have a kick-in,” he added.

“It’s called football. What’s the point of throw-ins? It takes ages. Just put it down and knock it in."


To be fair, he has a point.

Anyone who has played five-a-side football in an un-caged league will already be familiar with kick-ins.

If Lineker’s plan ever came to fruition, though, long throws into the box would become a thing of the past.

Liverpool’s specialist throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark would also find himself out of a job.

Do you agree with Gary Lineker’s ideas? Have your say below.

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