Some of you may have heard today that the IFAB are proposing getting rid of 45-minute halves in favour of 30-minute halves with the clock stopped whenever the ball goes out of play in order to reduce time wasting.
football fans across the globe shouldn’t worry, as there is no way on earth that this change will be implemented and here are the reasons why.
Advertisers will have their products on show for 1/3 less time, TV broadcasts will be 1/3 shorter and fans will see 1/3 less football. Attendances will fall dramatically as people will be seeing less football and feel they are getting a worse value for money. Unless ticket prices also slash by 1/3 which won’t happen as the clubs won’t want to lose out. All in all, clubs match day revenue could be cut by 33% and with how important money is in football today that is not gonna go down well at all.
2. It won’t do its job
A lot of time wasting is while the ball is still on the pitch. Keeping the ball in the corner will become very popular even with 10 minutes to go. Time wasting will never not be a part of the game.
3. The ridiculous penalty rule
The new rules would include any penalty missed to result in a goal kick rather than playing on from the rebound. This would cause more unnecessary stops and would cause a lot of confusion. If the ball hits the crossbar and goes in what is the ruling? If it hits the post then the keepers back and goes in what is the ruling? These things aren’t clear.
4. Games could go on forever
With the clock stopping when the ball goes out of play what’s to stop the fans not giving the ball back at lower league level and dragging the game on for hours? What’s to stop teams just refusing to take throw-ins to protest? The rule just fundamentally doesn’t work.
5. How does the game end?
Does the whistle just blow on 60 minutes? Or is it going to be like rugby where the next time the ball goes out of play is the end of the game? This will stop last minute counter attacks and take a lot of the drama that everyone loves out of football.
What changes do you propose then?
If we want to counter timewasting we have to look at the current rules and apply them properly. I have never in my life seen a keeper booked for holding the ball for more than six seconds when that is the rule that should be enforced. As soon as referees start enforcing the six-second rule on all stoppages we will see a massive reduction on timewasting.
How else will it change the game?
Last year’s PFA Player of the year N’golo Kante is constantly praised for his ability to run for the full 90 minutes and seemingly never tire out. If the game is cut to 60 minutes demand for players like Kante would decrease significantly as the stamina that he has will not be needed as much. Substitutions will be used a lot more for tactics and injuries rather than players being fatigued, as a player is not going to get as tired in 60 minutes of play than 90. Retirement ages are likely to increase, due to stamina playing a smaller part in these new rules older players would be able to have much more of an effect.