IFAB proposing significant changes including match duration

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Changes are on the rise in the way a soccer match occurs; at least they will be if the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has anything to say about it.

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Two of the biggest changes proposed by the IFAB over the weekend include the length of an actual match being reduced from 90 to 60 minutes. The alteration would also introduce a stoppage of play each time the ball goes out of bounds.

IFAB consists of members of FIFA, as well as four British home football associations and is responsible for making the final decision on law changes.

“Many people are very frustrated that a typical 90-minute match has fewer than 60 minutes of effective [actual] playing time i.e. when the ball is in play,” IFAB said. “The strategy proposes measures to reduce time-wasting and ‘speed up’ the game.”

This rule in particular is a main objective for the IFAB in order to enforce stricter stoppage of play during a live match. 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.

Here’s a list of several other changes being proposed by the IFAB.

  • If a goalkeeper handles a back pass, the opposing side will be awarded a penalty kick.
  • Players could take free kicks and/or corner kicks to themselves instead of having to pass the ball to another teammate, as was stated in the past.
  • Goals can be awarded in the instance of a goal line handball.
  • Penalty kicks would no longer result in live play. Instead, if the attempt is missed or saved by the goalkeeper then a goal kick for the opposing team would ensue.
  • Goal kicks would no longer have to leave the penalty area when being taken.