By Lery Hiciano
By Lery Hiciano
Rabat – The International Football Association Board (IFAB), has outlined a broad swath of potential new changes for the world’s most popular sport. The document, called “Play Fair!” was unveiled this past weekend. FIFA’s “Laws of the Game” were created by IFAB have been in use since 1886.
For a game which has, more or less, stayed consistent for generations, these proposed changes could dramatically alter the way the game is played. Former English referee and current IFAB technical director, David Elleray, describes the changes as a “quiet revolution.”
Here’s a list of the biggest potential changes:
- The halves would be shortened to 30 minutes each, down from their current length of 45 minutes, with stoppage time being eliminated in favor of the clock being stopped whenever the ball goes out of bounds.
- Players would be allowed to play free kicks and corner kicks to themselves, no longer required to shoot for a goal or pass to a teammate.
- Free kicks could be taken with a moving ball, without any stoppage in play.
- Goal line handballs would result in a penalty awarded for the other team.
- A goalkeeper handling a backpass, using his hands instead of his feet when a teammate of his passes him the ball, would result in a penalty attempt.
- Play would be stopped after a penalty is taken, eliminating goals off penalty rebounds.
These proposed alterations to the existing rules represent just some of the bigger changes presented in the document. It would take years of negotiating before any of them would make it onto the field. For now, the document serves more to nudge than to represent a full-fledged push for an overhaul of the game.