Fifa preparing to change football’s rules. An Untold exclusive (at least until tomorrow)


By Tony Attwood

As far as I know, the English media has not picked up on this story that has broken from Fifa HQ in Switzerland.  Therefore my use of the word “exclusive” might be a slight exaggeration, but “Exclusive in the UK” seemed a bit cumbersome.  And you never know, there have been the odd occasions where we got there first.

Anyway, that’s the technicality.  Here’s the story.

Marco van Basten is the new technical director of FIFA and the story is that he has it in mind to change some of football’s rules.  

Introducing the shoot-out

Marco van Basten wants to replace extra time with an improved shootout. This idea is inspired directly by ice hockey and he explains the situation thus:

“Each team would have five attempts. The referee whistles and the player starts a distance of 25 metres from the goal. He then has eight seconds to get the ball in the net or for the keeper to save it.”  After that it is all over.

During this “shoot-out”, the player can shoot, dribble or await upon the reaction of the goalkeeper, who would not be allowed to leave the penalty area. It would be much more spectacular than a simple penalty, according to Mr van Basten.

The end of the offside

This is an innovation that could upset some purists, and Marco van Basten has admitted that he recognises this.   “But I’m sure the teams will be able to adapt,” was his simple reply.   Discussions between referees or players’ challenges would no longer happen – there simply would be no offside.  However van Besten admits that the has some way to go to convince all of Fifa that this is a good notion.

Certainly off side has changed since its inception with three players needing to be behind the ball, down to two and then one.

The end of the yellow cards

You may recall that just a few days back Untold sneaked this idea in – with the replacement of yellow cards by a sin bin.  Now you know where it came from.   Van Basten proposes to replace the yellow cards by sin bins for what he calls “tactical faults”.  The argument is that the 10 minute in the sin bin would act as a much greater restraint on players than the yellow card which seems to have a limited effect on most players. 

He would also like to limit the number of times a player can be given a sin bin exclusion from the field of play. As he says,  “As in basketball, where a player can only have five faults. Then he goes out. “

Marco van Basten has also made it clear that he is aware that he must prepare the ground for this kind of revolution of the game saying, “We have to go step by step. I speak with coaches, players and managers. I ask them their opinion and what they consider good for football and how they see the future of their sport.”

Do remember where you first read it.  Or if someone else has broken the story while I was typing this up, just forget it and accept my apologies.

But if the UK media pick up on it after 18 January, then yep, we got there first.

Untold Arsenal and the Arsenal History Society…  recent stories

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Who are the biggest ball hoofers in the PL? Beware: this is not the story the media wants you to read!

Football in crisis. Football in chaos. Football as a fairy story.

Arsenal need a new striker. I know this because last summer lots of journalists told me so

Would Arsenal be higher up the league if we had Pep Guardiola instead of Arsène Wenger?

The value of Arsenal’s players is not what you think. Or at least not what we thought.

April / May 1937: Arsenal slip back and Man City triumph – for the moment

Football might be the biggest sport in the world but its management is chaotic



The Index of major articles about Arsenal players throughout the club’s history:  A to K     L to Z


20 Replies to “Fifa preparing to change football’s rules. An Untold exclusive (at least until tomorrow)”

  1. I’m pretty certain the offside rule still needs 2 players behind the ball (Inc the GK).

    Doing away with the offside rule will chnge some teams to 5 big goal hangers and 5 CB/DMs lumping the ball up to them. A really dumb idea.

    The yellow card/ sin bin idea could be worked with although I suspect for certain incidents (unintentional fouls etc) it could be 2 yellows = a sin bin but a 3rd = red card. Very rough idea but could be developed.
    However I’d expect most of the PGMO boys to muck it up as usual.

    IIRC the shoot out idea was tried in the USA in the days of George Best and Pele.
    If it was that good then surely it would hve been tried at an international tournament since then… The Golden goal was tried and just made the game seem too theatrical.

  2. No offsides, nothing new there, they have already started that with Utd this season.
    Sin bins……don’t like the sound, would give the PGMOL even more chance to influence games.
    Loved Ban Basten as a player, and admire his eccentricity here! Would make for entertainment , but not football as we know it.
    Are they going to officially allow diving as well?

  3. Nothing revolutionary in his suggested changes but. Significant still. If adhered to. Change is hard to envisage, not to speak of accept, but once the idea is sold and fine tuned a bit, it may just be practicable.

    I don’t like the idea of no offside rule in the game though. That will change the game completely, as we know it.

  4. Sending players off for 5 minutes for a foul is a great idea. I do think it would hurt more than a yellow card.

    I would also like to see red card suspensions served against the team offended not the next opposition.

  5. If you’re going to have sin bins, you can’t have a clearly corrupt group of referees deciding on them I’m afraid.
    Otherwise you might as well have Kent Walton commentating and show it on World of Sport.

  6. Apologies to overseas readers and U.K. based under 50’s.
    The rest of you know what I’m talking about.

  7. I think sin bins would be great. I could just see officials sin binned as being the best thing since first kick off. 😉 😉

  8. I would like to have the offside law tweaked to call offsides only from the 18 yard line on. The linesman surely can’t get this too wrong ,can he ? And the number of offside line cameras would be in the barest minimum .
    Calling an offside just inside the opponent’s half , so far away from the goal is a sheer waste .

    I would love to see the end of back passing within one’s own half . Like in rugby the ball must always move forwards , even if you have to hoof it out/up ! But am hoping that teams learn to pass it better .

    No more throw ins for me . Just restart with a kick in .

  9. If changes are not made over a long time football will lose it’s appeal what ever changes are made.

    Personally a foul=10 mins bench, 2nd foul=off would make teams fairer, as the threat of playing with 10 men even for a time will be enough. Only thing the refs decisions will have to really improve else cheating will still go on.

  10. And never make the sin bin comfortable – it should be for punishment , not pleasure . Wipe that smile right off their faces !

    A hard stone bench or an ice block to sit one . Those with nails may not really work for Indian fakirs ! Or those with S&M fetishes or acupunctural afficionados .

    Play very loud muzak or elevator music to disorientate them . Like this old and classic piece that once allegedly thwarted some invading Martians .

    Place them in elevated glass sin bins , so if the game gets boring , the fans have a different channel to view ; or another source to vent their displeasure .

    Allow fans to vent their anger by throwing fruits , tomatoes etc , as was done in the stockades of medieval times . The fruits and vegetables used can be those that cannot be exported to Europe on account of BREXIT !

    While all my suggestions may all be in jest , don’t let it stop you from lobbying for it or start a petition . Send it FIFA , they may want to hear from you.

  11. Brickfields Gunners, i’d say calling offsides in 18 yards box is a waste of time since it’s usually very crowded and the refs view is often obstructed

  12. A game with no offside rule will become much more defensive as teams will need to keep players back to make sure that they are not caught out by players with great pace who will be able to push far upfield waiting for the long pass over the top, Vardy last year is an Example of this and with no offside will begin his race for the ball from a much higher starting point.

  13. With no offside rule, why would any manager allow their CBs to ever leave their own box (other than maybe at set pieces)… It seems to me to be a way of encouraging boring football.

  14. @ OlegYch – 19/01/2017 at 10:43 am – Even now when Arsenal play the opponents are often encamped within their own area , so its not totally something new.
    As its the linesman’s duty to signal the offsides , he now has a much smaller , albeit compacted area to concentrate on . And less running too .

    I just get pissed off when an offside is called just beyond the halfway line.

  15. I’ve always thought that there should be another card, which players get given and results in a suspension for so many BUT doesn’t result in a red card during that game … i.e. for things like time-wasting, taking off a shirt, going into the crowd … meaning these things would carded without the pressure on the ref to keep 22 players on the pitch.

Comments are closed.