“Be the change, you wish to see in the world.”
It looks like the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) took this quote of Mahatma Gandhi very seriously in recent times.
Whether it is the introduction of the new kick off style, the magical white spray or the current implementation of the Goal line technology by the Premier League and the Serie A – changes have always been looked at with suspicion and a hint of skepticism. The English, however, have favoured the Goal Line technology due to Frank Lampard’s legal goal being disallowed against Germany in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which ultimately led to the English being ousted from the tournament. Even a minor alteration to the rules can distort the outcome of the match. So when the new FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that they wanted to try and implement multiple changes to the game many a hard core football fan must have fallen out of their seats.
Removing the Off-side rule:
The offside rule is the rule which separates football from falling into chaos and hooliganism. It takes artistry to run behind the last defender to beat the offside trap. Legend like Van Basten have said that, “football is like handball, personally I’m curious about how football would work without the offside rule”. Though this rule would increase the “entertainment factor” in football and increase the number of goals scored in every match and would lighten the workload of the referee and his fellow linesmen, this is one rule any ardent follower of football would like to see remain unchanged. If FIFA is bringing about this change in order to appease the fans, they might be in for a huge surprise.
Replacing Penalty Shoot outs with “take-on” challenges:
This is a rule which would help FIFA bring about the complete renaissance of football. The thought of a striker dribbling the goalkeeper one on one is hilarious at a first glance. But when you add to it the mere factors that the goalie can advance and the player only has eight seconds to put it past him (yes! you read it right, there is a time limit) things get heated up. This is a practice which has been tested out in the MLS, but was brought to halt after 1999.
Captain the only one to speak with the referee:
One of the most welcome decisions, if approved and officially sanctioned by FIFA, this would stop the chaos and the player brawls and also sometimes referees get influenced by players into making a decision. Players creating a ruckus near the referee should be dealt with severely which would ensure in a free flowing game. Precious time is wasted in an El Classico and inevitably at some point of the match you would find the Real Madrid or the Barcelona players surrounding the referee. The scenario is same with any high profile derby match because the rivalry is intense.
Number of teams in the world cup increased to 48:
Some decisions should be welcomed with open arms and this sure as hell is one of them. The increase in the number of teams to 48 would mean that the smaller nations would now have a greater chance at experiencing the biggest stage of football in the world. This system can go to great lengths at ensuring that the adoration for football in people’s hearts increase.
Increase in the number of Substitutes and rolling substitutions:
The worst possible change suggested by FIFA to football after the suggested abolishment of the offside rule. The number of substitutions should be fixed, because the game always depends on the type of players you have taken off and the players you have thrown into the chess board. Drogba scored a winning header for Chelsea in the champions league final seconds after Thomas Mueller was subbed off. Now, had rolling substitution been a part of the rules Mueller would have been back on the pitch in no time. The thing with substitutions is that the manager should be shrewd enough to manage his team within the available three substitutions. Some laxness might be shown for matches which have gone into extra time by allowing an extra pair of substitutions but the mere concept of rolling substitutions is outrageous. No doubt this is a decision influenced by the likes of volleyball and basketball.
Introducing a modified fouling system:
Players who have fouled their opponents for 5 times will be sent off. Though there are controversies and ambiguities related to the actual details and rules of this particular change, it will be interesting to see teams such as Atletico de Madrid, Stoke City and the likes changing their approach to deal with this kind of a play, should this change be implemented by FIFA.
Which of the above changes by FIFA do you support? Let us know in the comments below!