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Football Could Be Set For Some Big Rule Changes

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We all know most of the rules of football, even if the offside law seems to change every other year and handballs are such a grey area they’re the Manchester of football. But the rules are about to change, but is it for the better?

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We all love to shout at the referee when he makes what we think is a terrible decision and the officials are really helpful to use as the reason our team lost, not the players ineptitude of course, especially if you’re Jose Mourinho.

In the last few years football has started welcoming goal-line technology to determine whether the ball bouncing on the line has gone in or not. A helpful addition but it sorts out about four chances a season.

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The game has been more reticent when it comes to video assistant referees despite them being able to sort several decisions each game but that’s for another time.

The Times report today that International Football Association Board (IFAB), football’s rule making body, are looking into some changes in the game. The key ones being:

Players can play free kicks to themselves.

Goal kicks do not have to leave the penalty area.

Free kicks permitted with moving ball.

Penalties conceded for handling back-passes.

Penalty goals awarded for goal-line handballs.

Former Premier League referee David Elleray, who is IFAB’s technical director, told the newspaper, “It is a radical document. You could say that it is a quiet revolution aimed at getting football even better.

“My starting point was to look at the laws and say ‘what are they for?’, and if there is no particular reason then would changing them make the game better.”


Hockey introduced the rule that free kicks could be played to the player who takes it a few years ago and it increased the time that the ball is in play by five minutes.

A goalkeeper passing the ball into the area would only be allowed to be touched by a player on his team and opposition players would still need to stay out of the area, allowing for more passing football.

‘Penalty goals’ for goal-line handballs would have seen Ghana through to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2010 when they were famously beaten by Uruguay after Luis Suarez’ last second handball.

Other rules up for discussion are penalty saves resulting in a goal-kick meaning now chance of scoring a rebound and points deductions for clubs who surround the referee.


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