FIFA panel invites debate on 'radical' 60-minute game clock

  • FIFA panel invites debate on 'radical' 60-minute game clock

FIFA panel invites debate on 'radical' 60-minute game clock

"The aim of this document is to generate discussion and take a "fresh" look at how the Laws could make the game better", IFAB said in the document called "Play Fair!".

IFAB also proposes that players should be allowed to play free kicks or corners to themselves while referees should only blow for half-time or full-time when the ball goes out of play, just like rugby.

Fans have become frustrated that games of 90 regulation minutes plus time added for stoppages at referees' discretion typically produce "fewer than 60 minutes of effective (actual) playing time", IFAB said.

Possible changes to time keeping include the whistle only being blown for halftime and fulltime when the ball goes out of play; and using 60 minutes of actual playing time rather than 90 overall minutes as at present.

Referees would be expected to stop their watches during games not only when the ball exits the field of play but also when there are cards being distributed, penalty and free kicks awards, etc.

The document stresses that match officials should be stricter on the time-wasting rule that allows the goalkeeper to hold onto the ball for six seconds.

Which plans are ready for testing?

The proposals already being tested include the idea of only allowing captains to speak to referees to prevent match officials being mobbed. That is a change from the traditional "team A, team B, team A, team B" pattern.

Which ideas are up for discussion?

One of the ideas is to remove a player who deliberately scores a goal with the hand or plays the ball off on the goal line.

IFAB is made up of world football's governing body, FIFA, and the four British home football associations and is responsible for making the final decision on law changes.

The International Football Association Board has developed a strategy document spearheaded by technical director and former Premier League referee David Elleray meant to make football "fairer" and "more attractive".

Created to tackle the lovely game's negative aspects, the document has three aims: to improve player behavior and respect, increase actual playing time, and to increase fairness and attractiveness.

The latest proposals will be discussed over the next several months and then any changes they want to formally consider can be approved in March for trials in competitive matches.