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Will these proposed FIFA rules make our football unrecognisable?

Friday 23rd June 2017
Ever heard of the International Football Association Board (IFAB)? It's the organisation under FIFA, responsible for defining the rules of football worldwide. Take a look at the proposed football rules by IFAB, don't you think it'll water down the fun in our football and make it almost unrecognisable?

The International Football Association Board is said to have completed work on the proposed new football rules. All packaged in a document titled, “ Play Fair ”, most of these new football rules if approved, will change football as we know it.

There are over a dozen rule modifications in the Play Fair document, however, I'll like us to discuss these seven, which are the most pertinent. It's also paramount to add that some of these proposed rules are already being tested at the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup, holding in Russia.

Rule #1. Only team captains are allowed to protest to the ref

One of the proposed IFAB rules is that only the skipper of the team is allowed to protest to the referee in cases where decisions don't go the team's way.
This rule is one that aims at protecting referees from being mobbed by players. The proposed rule is already being tested in 2017 Confederations Cup.

With emotions running wild during crunch encounters, preventing players from mobbing referees when decisions don't go their way might be as easy as stopping a drug-starved junkie from scratching and yearning. Can players stick to this?

Rule #2. New order of penalty kicks during shootouts

The Confederations Cup is yet to get to the knockout stage if it has, and a game had gone to penalties, you'd have noticed the strange order of penalty kicks during the shootouts. Don't marvel, it's one of the proposed rules by IFAB being tried out at the tournament.

The new order of penalty shootout will be known as “ABBA”. In this system, instead of both teams taking alternate penalties; team A takes the first kick followed by team B taking the next two, then team A takes the next two and so on.

A quote from the Play Fair document reads:

“The ‘first' kick in kicks from the penalty mark has a built-in advantage primarily because there is greater mental pressure on the second kicker (in each round) who often faces instant elimination if they miss their kick (especially once the first four kicks for each team have been completed),”

Rule #3. 60 minutes for a football match

Yes, IFAB is proposing that football matches should last not more than an hour; 30 minutes for each half. To IFAB, football matches lasting 90 minutes gives so much room for time wasting and in the end, only about 60 minutes of uninterrupted play takes place.

“Many people are very frustrated that a typical 90-minute match has fewer than 60 minutes of effective (actual) playing time (EPT) i.e. when the ball is in play,” – IFAB.

Can you fathom a football match lasting just 60 minutes? Won't we see games finishing before they're even started?

Rule #4. Goal as punishment

Imagine a reckless tackle occurs inside the box and instead of pointing to the spot for a penalty, the referee whistles and points to the centre circle for a goal. That's the long and short of this proposed rule – a goal is given instead of a penalty for a foul inside the area.

How would our football look like if this rule sees the light of day?

Rule #5. Players can pass dead balls to themselves

IFAB is also looking to implement a rule that allows players to pass free-kicks, corners and goal kicks to themselves. Hopefully, this rule doesn't end up getting everyone confused; if it gets confirmed.

Rule #6. Free-kicks doesn't have to be played from a dead ball

If this proposed rule gets accepted, then we could see players taking set pieces even with the ball still in motion. This rule is also targeted at eliminating time wasting. Hopefully, players don't end up using it to play the dummy on opponents.

Rule #7. The match doesn't end until the ball is out of the pitch

Perhaps the guys at IFAB have been watching too much rugby. The aforementioned rule, if implemented will mean that the referee cannot end the game until the ball leaves the pitch; yes, just like in Rugby.

With so many alterations being made in the game, we might begin to see football in a different light – the greatest and most interesting team sport ever known to man, evolving into a confusing and unrecognisable sport, full of do's and don'ts, controlled by technology.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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