Since the inception in 1904, Fédération Internationale de Football Association(FIFA) as the international governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer, the governing body outlines a number of objectives in the organizational statutes, including growing association football internationally, providing efforts to ensure it is accessible to everyone, and advocating for integrity and fair play.
FIFA is responsible for the organization and promotion of association football’s major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women’s World Cup which started in 1991. Although FIFA does not solely set the rules of the game, that being the responsibility of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) of which FIFA is a member, it applies and enforces the rules across all FIFA competitions.
FIFA are currently getting ready to change football as we know it with five shocking new rules as stated below:
▪️ Two 30-minute halves
▪️ Game clock stops when ball out of play
▪️ Unlimited substitutions
▪️ Throw-ins played with feet
▪️ Yellow card 5 minute sin bin
According to Mundo Deportivo, the rules has already been put to test at a youth tournament called “The Future of Football Cup”, a tournament in the Netherlands that started on Sunday.
The 30-minute halves have been introduced at the tournament, while a clock for matches was also stopped after each interruption, just like basketball, to ensure that every second of play is fulfilled.
The third rule is an unlimited number of substitutions, which FIFA is understood to hope will stop players from regularly picking up muscle injuries due to exhaustion.
Another rule that was suggested by former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is throw-ins being replaced by “kick-ins”.
“When you have a throw-in, it is supposed to be an advantage for the team in possession,” the Frenchman, now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, explained.
“But, in reality, you are at a disadvantage with nine players on the field to the opponents’ 10.
“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?”
The fifth rule is a five-minute suspension for yellow cards. This is an idea derived from the rugby-style “sin bin” for when players are booked, and is reportedly being brought in to encourage less teams to make constant fouls.
According to Marca, it was reported that FIFA are not directly involved with the tournament but they are watching closely and also want to “evaluate the impact of the changes” before deciding whether to take it to IFAB which is the law making body.
FIFA is also looking at the possibility of playing the world cup every two years instead of four years, this was discussed at their annual congress meeting that was held on Friday. The proposal to launch a feasibility study to determine the viability of the idea was tabled by Saudi Arabia. When it was put to vote, 166 out of FIFA’s 209 member nations voted in favour while 22 were against. Recall that former FIFA president Sepp Blatter tabled a similar idea in 1999 but it was rejected with backlash from the European governing body (UEFA).
Report has it the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has formally endorsed (after zero debate outside of its ExCo) Fifa’s ‘project’ of holding the World Cup every two years.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino, while claiming there was room to make changes to the international calendar after 2024, said having a biennial World Cup will help countries outside Europe to play more meaningful games. “In Africa, out of 54 countries, only five qualify for the World Cup. If you don’t qualify what are you doing for the next four years? Nothing?” he questioned.
Eyebrows have been raised about how these changes will affect football, with many stating the the world cup coming every two years would devalue the tournament and also spell the end for international friendlies. But a bigger impact would be on the continental championship, and this is the reason why UEFA — which conducts the Euros would likely oppose to the idea.
CAF and the Copa America governing body will have to revisit their calendar to adjust to the new rule if it’s passed successfully, These will be in addition to matches in most other tournaments, the World Cup has already been expanded to 48 teams starting 2028. UEFA Nations League which started in 2018 will have to be rescheduled and clubs will have to release their players frequently for international duties which will lead to constant injuries to the players.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said all the factors will be taken into consideration in their study.
“We will study it and see what it means in terms of the health of players, disruption or non-disruption of national leagues and international competitions,” he said.
The football world now awaits the decision that would be made by the governing body in coming days.
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