Wake up, FIFA: Rule changes required

Tilam is right about the difficulties that lie ahead when you want change in soccer rules with a bureaucratic organization such as FIFA. There are some rule changes that seem so intuitive it is a wonder that FIFA ignores them. The darker interpretation is that FIFA allows this culture of ‘benign neglect’ deliberately to bestow the World Cup and the power it brings to certain favored countries.
I can’t get into the comments section of Tilam’s post (technical glitch? FIFA strking back at soccerblog?). But I urge you to read it and get pretty serious about the rules that need changing. If we can get enough people on board then FIFA might just listen to us. We always keep hyping soccer as the global game, and that means,we as the people, exercise enough say in the matter. In the words of Liam Gallagher, “So I start a revolution from my bed.”
My personal choices:
1) Video replay, minimizes all those bad decisions and consequent make up calls. Not an expensive technology, easily implementable.
2) Two referees: Two pairs of eyes are better than one. This gives us the ‘eyes at the back of the head’ option. A referee positioned at the plane of the ball and the other one that stands behind the ball. Liken it to a camera placed lateral to where the action is taking place and another that looks forward. The roles of the referees switch on a counterattack. The linesmen concentrate on the corner kicks and offside.
3) Revolving substitutions: Ribery went out and Trezeguet was brought in. All Ribery needed was a breather. He was making things happen till then. I really think soccer games should not rely so much on substitutes. It becomes a crapshoot for coaches. They are hailed as geniuses if the substitutions work and morons if they don’t. Either way it leaves very little margin for error and/ or creativity.
Other rules like modifying the offside rules and the sin bins are what I would call ‘creature of habit’ rules. The offside concept seems very ingrained in the soccer world. Plus, it appears to be the one rule that gives soccer the badge of honor. As Eduardo Galeano puts it, “It was disloyal to score goals behind the adversary’s back.”
The one thing that World Cup 2006 should convince lovers of soccer is, it is high time to bring a change in the rules.

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3 comments on “Wake up, FIFA: Rule changes required
  1. And lets run with the ball in our hands and make the ball oval shaped.
    Go back to your rubbish American sports and leave football as it is – the beautiful game

  2. Football fan
    Brilliant thinking. Good constructive criticism! These changes are being contemplated by football fans in the UK, Germany, Spain, and Brazil.
    Go read up the blogs in the Guardian and BBC. They have fans who want rules changed to make football the beautiful game.

  3. The ‘go home americans – you can’t play soccer’ horse was beaten to death years ago, but I am also reluctanct to endorse any rule changes. I like the two ref idea. A good referee can officiate a game well alone, certainly, but that was the exception to the rule at this World Cup, where theoretically the best referees are calling the games. There are not enough good refs, obviously. Time for a change. Maybe then the two refs can put the brakes on the obscene amount of diving going on…

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