The Club World Cup running test to finally abolish bizarre goal kick rule

Real Madrid during Club World Cup 2017

The Club World Cup has previously been used as a platform by FIFA to test out potential rule changes.

Football's governing body often like to see if their ideas actually work in a competitive setting before implementing it across the globe.

And it seems the 2018 edition of the competition could see one of world football's most bizarre rules outlawed for good.

The four teams taking part in this year's edition are Real Madrid, River Plate, Al Ain and Kashima Antlers.

Well, River Plate were actually eliminated on penalties last night after a 2-2 draw with Al Ain.

As for Real in their semi-final tie with Kashima, the rule involving goalkeepers will be enforced again.

As per Marca, the rule that prevents players from intercepting a goal kick has been abolished out in the United Arab Emirates.

Players will still need to be outside the 18-yard box before the keeper makes contact with the ball, but are then free to charge in and intercept the ball if possible.

About time, eh?

River Plate before game with Al Ain

The rule just simply makes no sense at all and it adds yet more substance to the school of thought that goalkeepers are in fact overprotected.

While the goal kick alteration is the headline change, FIFA are also running another test which will mean that players have to leave the pitch at the nearest point to them when being substituted.

The idea is to further eliminate the element of time-wasting, so the concept of managers introducing players in stoppage-time could be brought to an end altogether.

If the rule changes at the Club World Cup are a success, they will still need to be approved in March before they are official.

Al Ain celebrate their win

Fingers crossed that all goes well.

How do you feel about the potential rule changes to the beautiful game? Let us know in the comment box below.

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