Changes To The Beautiful Game Coming?

Changes To The Beautiful Game Coming?

Last month, IFAB (the International Football Association Board) brought forth a group of suggestions for changes in world football. The ideas ranged from simple tweaks to full-blown changes to the laws of the game. 

Some of the proposed rule changes include:

  • 60-minute games, with the referee stopping their watch every time the ball is out of play
  • 'Self-passing' at free kicks and corners
  • Goal kicks can be passed to defenders within the penalty area
  • Goalbound shots handled on the line to be penalised with a 'penalty goal'
  • No rebounds allowed from saved penalties
  • Pre-match handshakes between officials and managers
  • Points deductions for teams guilty of surrounding a referee

The rule changes, prepared by the IFAB technical director David Elleray, a former Premier League referee, in a document called, the Play Fair! document, has three main aims:

  • To improve player behaviour and increase respect
  • To increase effective playing time
  • To increase the game's fairness and attractiveness

These potential rule changes will have a big impact on Greece as they will everywhere else. And, Greece will be at the forefront of the debate involving VAR (Video Assistant Referee) use in football matches. The Greek SuperLeague will be one of a few leagues where this technology will be used this season. 

Those that tuned into the Confederations’ Cup in the last few weeks saw VAR widely used to reviews that ranged from negative to mixed. 

Needless to say, it does appear that there is a movement gaining momentum to change some of how the game is played and officiated. It remains to be seen, what proposals will become part of the laws of the game and how football supporters will view these changes.

by: George Tsitsonis
Source: IFAB (the International Football Association Board)
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