FIFA mulls 60-minute soccer game
Soccer’s rule-making panel wants debate on moving to 60-minute games and stopping the clock when the ball is not in play. Playing two halves each of 30 minutes’ actual playing time would be a “radical change” to the Laws of Football, the FIFA supported International Football Association Board acknowledged.
It features in a five-year strategy document of talking points and proposals with three goals — to increase respect, playing time and attractiveness of the game.
“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! Any changes would take years to enact.
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 (actual) playing time,” IFAB said.
On Saturday, there were just 47 minutes of actual playing time in Russia’s 2-0 win over New Zealand to open the Confederations Cup, according to FIFA.
The 60-minute, stop-start game clock proposal would take away the incentive for time-wasting by players, IFAB suggested. A stadium clock could show spectators and TV viewers when the referee accounted for play having stopped.
A second idea is for referees to stop their watch as play pauses when time-wasting is most likely — the final five minutes of the first half and the last 10 minutes of the second half.
Other proposals include:
Letting players pass to themselves from a free kick or corner;
Award penalty kicks for defenders using their hands or arms to stop a goal-bound ball;
Abolish encroachment at penalty kicks by ordering play to stop after it is saved or rebounds from the post or bar;
Pre-match handshakes for the two coaches and referee as a sign of respect.