60 Minute Football Match - IFAB Set to Bring Radical Changes to the Game

The International Football Association Board, the sport’s rule-making body, will discuss proposals to switch to 60-minute games and stop the clock when the ball is not in play.

The proposals have been included in a five-year strategy document called ‘Play Fair’ that has been designed to enhance the appeal of the sport.

The IFAB acknowledged that the plan to schedule games of two 30-minute halves would be a particularly “radical change.”

However, such a switch would minimise the incentive for time-wasting, the board added, with a stadium clock allowing spectators to see how much longer there is in the game – as is the case currently with rugby league and union.

An alternative suggestion by the IFAB would see referees stop their watch as play pauses in the final five minutes of the first half and 10 minutes of the second half.

There are a series of other proposals in the document, including allowing players to pass to themselves from a free kick or a corner and scrapping the issue of encroachment at penalty kicks by ordering play to be stopped if it is saved or if the ball rebounds off the woodwork.

The IFAB added in the document: “The aim of this document is to generate discussion and take a ‘fresh’ look at how the laws could make the game better.”

Any such changes would take years to introduce, with the blessing of football’s global governing body, Fifa.

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