Tuesday 17 October 2017

30-minute halves idea to stop time-wasting

The ‘Play Fair!’ document will be discussed at various meetings before a decision is taken. (Stock photo)
The ‘Play Fair!’ document will be discussed at various meetings before a decision is taken. (Stock photo)

Sam Lovett

World football's rule-makers are to consider a proposal to reduce each half of a game to 30 minutes in a bid to prevent time-wasting.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has outlined a raft of radical proposed changes to the laws of the game in a new strategy document titled 'Play Fair!'

Adopting two halves of 30 minutes with the clock stopped when the ball goes out of play is one of the ideas being put forward.

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

"The strategy proposes measures to reduce time-wasting and speed up the game."

Some of the proposals could be implemented immediately as they require no changes to the laws of the game, while some are "ready for testing/experiments" and some are "for discussion".

Among the ideas up for discussion are that a player be allowed to pass the ball to themselves at free-kicks, corners and goal-kicks, a stadium clock which stops and starts along with the referee's watch, and allowing a goal-kick to be taken even if the ball is moving.

Other ideas include referees blowing for half-time or full-time only when the ball goes out of play, and players not being allowed to follow up when a penalty kick is saved in order to stop encroachment into the penalty area.

The document also says that match officials should be stricter in ensuring that goalkeepers obey the 'six-seconds' rule.

It's also suggested that referees should stop their watch after a penalty is awarded or a goal is scored until the match resumes and from the signal of a team wanting to make a substitution to play restarting.

The 'Play Fair!' document will be discussed at various meetings before a decision is taken on whether to develop the ideas further or discard them. (© Independent News Service.)

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