What Are the Biggest Issues Facing Football Today?

What Are the Biggest Issues Facing Football Today?

Football is the most popular sport in the world, with around half of the global population reported to follow the game to at least some extent! The joy of playing and/or watching football is hard to beat, but unfortunately there are several issues that threaten the future of the sport. In this guide, we have listed some of the biggest problems facing football today.


While VAR was certainly introduced into the modern game with good intentions (before VAR became standard, many questionable decisions made due to human error prompted widespread calls from fans and people in the industry for the adoption of VAR), it has become one of the most controversial aspects of the sport.

It seems that almost every day there is a fresh outrage at a VAR-led decision. For example, the number of penalties and offside rulings has sharply increased, and many are not satisfied. Is the technology really benefiting the game, or does it need to be refined more before it is of any use? This question is extremely divisive among fans.


Racism affects every sport, and unfortunately, many other aspects of life. This is, of course, nothing new to football—there is a long history of tensions between rival clubs becoming unpleasant and even violent among supporters, and race is unfortunately often a factor.

While the industry has made great strides against the problem of racism in the last few decades, unfortunately there is still a long way to go, and many fans are unwilling to change with the times.

Exclusive Broadcasts

Decades ago, there were only a few TV channels and radio stations to choose from, and if the big game wasn’t being broadcast on any of them you wouldn’t be able to tune in to see or hear it. When more channels appeared, including dedicated sports channels, more and more games began to be broadcast.

Unfortunately, the constant increase in new channels available has started to reduce fans’ access to football again in the last few years. With more and more channels purchasing exclusive rights to broadcast certain games and using pay-per-view or subscription models, it is once again more difficult to simply switch on your TV and watch the game you want to see! Thankfully, you may be able to see tournaments like the UEFA European Championship using online streaming, and even use the internet to check out things like a Euro 2020 betting guide that can increase your engagement with the game.


The problem of exclusive broadcasts is actually a result of a much larger problem in the game: the influence of money. While an increase in funding for the sport has had practical benefits, it has also opened the door for greed to limit the ability of the average fan to engage with the sport.

Many clubs are bought out by super-rich investors who often have no connection at all to them or even no interest in the sport at all! This results in raised ticket prices and fans having no say in the direction of a club. Ideas like the proposed European Super League are just the latest examples of a growing disconnect and hostility between fans and corporate owners.

These are just some of the issues being discussed by football fans the world over.

14 Replies to “What Are the Biggest Issues Facing Football Today?”

  1. VAR technology, assuming that it works, is neutral and objective. The key question is how it is used and interpreted in practice. Since it is entirely in the hands of the PGMOL, there is ample reason to distrust its application to our games. Questions arise about its selective use, such as why some incidents appear to be checked and not others. In addition, the television coverage is further selective of the images of actual checks which are shown. Also we only see static images of offside checks, which make it impossible to judge whether the line shown actually corresponds to the critical instant at which the ball is played. I personally would have more trust in the system if its use were more consistent and transparent and, ideally, operated by people independent of PGMOL.

  2. John L

    “Also we only see static images of offside checks, which make it impossible to judge whether the line shown actually corresponds to the critical instant at which the ball is played”.

    Where the line is drawn is of course critical but I think by far the more critical part is when the ball is played.

    What has to be borne in mind is that the drawing of the lines isn’t subjective, which is great when it comes to a black and whit decision, but judging at what moment the ball is played is. For example if you should be so inclined as to want the striker to of strayed offside by an errant toenail all you need to do is delay the moment the ball is played on the freeze frame to the last possible moment of contact between foot and ball. If you want him to be onside then you freeze the frame at the earliest possible moment, I mean who looks closely at the moment the ball is played part of the freeze frame ?

    Now we are only talking fractions of seconds but given the miniscule distances we are talking about with some of these decisions that could make all the difference.

    The bottom line is, given the latitude available to the VAR man as to when he can decide the ball is played, the notion that these offside VAR calls have eliminated subjectivity is entirely false.

    In other words VAR can give more or less chance of an offside being called depending on when VAR determines the ball is played.

  3. Add to the list – ‘Honesty.’

    Tonight’s England Denmark game was a series of revelations.

    Commentators and ex-players said players are chosen for teams because they ‘draw’ free kicks. Grealish was the main example.

    You choose to play a player who has the ability to get free kicks.

    England got a penalty that was ‘soft,’ ‘not a penalty.’

    Lee Dixon said very early on after an English player had gone hard into a Dane, ”You have to let them know you are there.” In other words, Eduardo’s shattering injury was a misplaced nudge of introduction.

    The stats on free kicks and yellow cards need to be re-examined. Riley and PGMO know – they are not idiots – that players are being played to deliberately get fouls. Grealish does it for his club, gets picked for England to do the same.
    They therefore have to know they are deliberately taking decisions in the game confirming they as referees have been conned by someone who has been picked by his club and his country to con them. They know they have not been conned, they are complicit in the masquerade. They ref with their eyes open. They know who Grealish is before the game starts.

    Who are the refs who ref Grealish? How many games a season do they get to ref Villa?

    What are the decisions behind the actions in the masquerade? Who writes the script? How do we as fans trust anything?

    At what point do fans start objecting to the masquerade? Who stands up and says, ‘This is a honest foul?’ How can fans tell the difference between a ”honest foul” and a ”drawn foul?”

  4. Grealish is not alone. Kane is a more obvious example. There were several such incidents last night, including a blatant attempt to win a penalty by kicking the back of a defender’s leg before throwing himself down. It was good that the ref did not fall for it (unlike the Sterling incident later), but a pity he didn’t award a yellow card.

  5. “There is very little contact, but I don’t care,” said Lee Dixon in the commentary box referring to the penalty England got given by the ref.

    Eriksen at the doors of death: real.
    Eriksen brought back: real.
    Denmark conned in the semi-final by a dive: real.

    Why do English players cheat?

    Why don’t English refs stop players in the English game from cheating?

  6. Zedsaunt

    “At what point do fans start objecting to the masquerade?”

    When it’s Johnny foreigner ‘drawing the foul’ because at that point it becomes a dive, and the perpetrator a cheating foreigner !!!

    I remember many years back when Michael Owen ‘Drew a foul’ for a penalty playing for England and that was deemed all fine and dandy.

    Measure all this against the abuse Pires received and still does as well as the abuse Eduardo got for a perceived dive against Celtic I think it was, that was later shown not to of been.

    What I saw from our players and heard from our commentators made me sick. Embarrassing doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  7. @nitram

    I have given up watching this farce of a tournament.

    The major problem has been the very few referees used who seem to make mistake after mistake.

    I cant help wondering where the idea came from? Perhaps the way the PIGMOB operate?

    I have also been to ref forums where they are questioning the choice of referees. They hint at political machinations at UEFA.

    The contributors also object to the “respect” and “#equalgame” slogans saying they are meaningless. If UEFA really cared about football and not about power and money they might be worthwhile.

    There appears to be no discussion or information from UEFA regarding their choices of officials. That is almost the identical play book of the Preemie League / PIGMOB

    I have avoided watching any games on English TV because as you say it is embarrassing.

    Still at least “Kuipers the Clown” looks like he will be the final referee. I suppose if you pick clowns you get a circus…

  8. Les Williams

    “I suppose if you pick clowns you get a circus” 🤣 Brilliant.

  9. The point of the Sterling penalty incident and VAR was that it was not a clear and obvious mistake by the referee and therefor his decision stood.The referee thought it was a penalty and VAR could see why he made the decision

    Had that been referred to Stockley Park the chances are that the decision would have been overturned.

    That is your difference.

    The operating system in Uefa 2020 is to allow the referee to make a decision and be supported unless the mistake is palpable
    PGMOL however use VAR to re referee the game to get the outcome they want.

    As for offsides , there is no way that the human eye can see the detail of white lines on two parts of the pitch 15 yards apart . So once again VAR needs to support the linesman and only change things if it’s obviously wrong.

    The situation of only raising the flag if the player becomes dangerous , I believe is to give more time for VAR to inspect tight decisions. it should go back to immediate flagging which is much easier for players and supporters to accept.

  10. porter

    Just my opinion but I thought it was a clear and obvious error. No contact and he dived. That seemed clear and obvious to me. Also the fact I haven’t spoken to a single person that thought it was a penalty, tends to support that. You are the first person I have read on here that thinks it was a penalty. You’ll never have 100% agreement on subjective decisions such as this, but the 90% consensus I have witnessed is pretty telling.

    Never the less I accept it is a game of opinions but honestly, I think it was absolutely a clear and obvious error.

  11. Nitram , I didn’t say I thought it was , I said the referee in real time thought it was and the VAR checkers thought that they could see where he was coming from . I also said that the PGMOL would have overturned it. As incidently so would I.

    However in my lifetime and I am sure yours , this is not the first time a referee has got something wrong and this time it went in our favour if you happen to be English.

  12. Let’s not forget the contribution of the Russian linesman in 1966 over England’s third goal in the final

  13. Porter

    Honestly I don’t blame the ref, we’ll apart from not going over to look at the screen himself, because in real time I thought it was a penalty.

    I’m just saying it did look clear and obvious to me, and you, and everyone else it seems, so on balance they should of turned it over really good

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