FIFA are considering revolutionising football by introducing dramatic and controversial rule changes.
This is according to Mundo Deportivo, who understand that the ‘Future of Football Cup’ youth tournament is being used for the experiment.
Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president and the chairman of the failed European Super League project, warned people earlier this year that changes need to be made in order to save football.
Perez said evidence shows “young people find football matches too long” and “not interesting”.
He said at the time that “we might have to make the football matches shorter”.
And that, it seems, is one of the fundamental changes that is currently being tested to see how it affects the sport.
The reported changes focus on four fundamental aspects:
1) Dividing the game into two 30-minute periods
Rather than 45 minutes per half (and a minimum total of 90 minutes per match), a shorter time limit is being trialled.
However, the clock will stop after each interruption – as is the case in certain other sports, such as basketball – and the hope is that this guarantees an effective 30 minutes of play each half.
2) Unlimited substitutions
We’ve seen five substitutions per match (six in extra-time), rather than the usual three, since the pandemic. But how would unlimited changes work? We could soon find out.
3) ‘Kick-ins’ rather than throw-ins
We could also be about to say goodbye to throws-in forever if this turns out to be one of the changes implemented.
Arsene Wenger, who currently works as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, previously explained why he believes kick-ins could improve football.
“When you have a throw-in, it is supposed to be an advantage for the team in possession. But, in reality, you are at a disadvantage with nine players on the field to the opponents’ ten,” the former Arsenal manager said.
“That’s why I believe we always have to think about how we can make the game quicker and more spectacular. So why not be able to kick the ball in when in your own half?”
4) Five-minute suspension for yellow cards
Some people have long believed that football should have a rugby-style ‘Sin Bin’ for when players are booked.
The ‘Future of Football Cup’ youth tournament will reportedly trial five-minute suspensions for any player who receives a yellow card.
PSV, AZ Alkmaar, RB Leipzig and Club Brugge are the teams involved at the Under-19 tournament, according to Mundo Deportivo.
FIFA will evaluate the impact of these four changes on the tournament and will then consider raising any at a formal request to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) – the body that sets the rules of the game worldwide.
How have football fans reacted to the potential changes?
It won’t come as a shock to hear that many football fans on social media have reacted badly to these potential rule changes…
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