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Football rules, OK?

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Kieran Poole2Kieran Poole is a Sport Journalism student at the University of Brighton. He is in the process of doing some academic research on the Laws of the Game and how they could change, 150 years after their formation by the FA. Let Kieran know what you think via his Twitter feed at @footballlaws150.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) stage their annual meeting in Edinburgh next weekend to discuss amendments to the Laws of The Game [FSF note – find out how that works and what a big influence the UK’s FAs have here]. This year they are to look at Law 8’s dropped ball and Law 12’s offside interference.

But are these changes what football needs? I’d like to know what fans, writers, referees and players would change or introduce from other sports, and to what extent conservatism in football prevents these going ahead?

I’ve started a Twitter debate via @footballlaws150 and, so far, the most popular ideas are to change the law for a red card for a professional foul, introduce sin-bins, video reviews, on-field treatment and an independent timekeeper.

Here is a selection from my Twitter debate and I’d love to hear what you think.

  • Matt Le Tissier: “I would like to see some experiments with video technology to help refs and linesman.”
  • David James: “Rotating substitutions. A little like NFL.”
  • Henry Winter, The Telegraph: “10-minute sin-bin for dissent. Refs clarifying decisions to TV afterwards. Scrap petty caution for shirt removing.”
  • Oliver Kay, The Times: “I’d allow ball to be dribbled back into play at free kicks, corners, throw-ins etc to speed up the game.”
  • Rory Smith, The Times: “Reduction from seven to three subs. A reintroduction of the tackle. No yellow for simulation. Proper throw-ins.”
  • Mark Chapman, 5 Live: “I’d allow ‘injured’ players to be treated while the game progresses to stop this kicking the ball out nonsense.”
  • Ian Dennis, 5 Live: “I would revert to the old offside law and dispense with active/inactive.”

The FSF blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed on this blog are those of the author – they don’t necessarily represent FSF policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn’t be attributed to the FSF. Have your say below and play nice…

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