Football format needs to change

Exactly 10 posts after I suggested some changes in tennis format to make matches less 1-sided, I make some suggestions to change the format of the football game. This comes after I have watched a relatively dull football Worldcup (Die-hard football fans may disagree with me on this)

1. With as many as 10 yellow cards flashed, the final match between Spain & Netherlands was more of a wrestling competition than a pure good quality football match…. I suggest that if 5 different players of a team get yellow cards, then the captain of the other team has the choice to send off any one of them off the field. This will be over & above a player getting an automatic red card after 2 yellow cards. This will ensure that the team which shows a lot of physical aggression on the field is penalised. Teams will then focus more on the goal post than on individual players of the opposite team.

2. A goalless match would probably have been a very dull match. The 2 teams dont deserve to get rewarded with 1 point for this. I feel the 2 teams need not be awarded a point for a 0-0 drawn match.

3. I find the offside rule similar to lbw rule in cricket. Anything pitched outside leg stump cannot be given  out even if the ball is hitting dead in the middle stump…A wicket is a wicket no matter where the ball pitches & a goal is a goal no matter from where it is hit. I suggest that each team be allowed 1 offside shot at the goal. The goal should be allowed only if the player took  the shot outside of the penalty area. If a team cannot take advantage of  it, then God save that team. This will ensure that there are lesser number of goalless matches. In addition a goal from a kick taken outside the penalty area is worth a watch.

4. With quite a few referee errors witnessed in the World Cup, there has been added pressure on FIFA to use technology & grant each team with limited number of challenges. I suggest to go 1 step ahead. Give each team unlimited challenges. For each unsuccessful challenge, the opposite team gets a free kick from a position of opposite team captain’s choice. This will ensure that teams are penalised for unnecessary challenges in trying to disturb the flow of the game; but ensuring that no team suffers at the cost of referee errors. A referee who makes more than 2 errors in 1 match needs to be penalised as well….  ( There is always a penalty on players..umpires go scott-free.. just like companies are penalised but regulators are above all regulations & audits)

5. The scoring system might be changed. If a team with a 2 or more goal difference, it needs to be rewarded additional points..It may get (goal difference-1) additional points. This will make the goal difference system redundant. Some might argue that a team which wins by a huge margin in just 1 match may go easy in remaining ones. Agreed, but such  a team in all probability anyway makes it to the next round in the current scoring system.

6. Right now the only thing that separates a captain from his teammates is the presence of a band on his shoulder. He is like the President of the country & the coach is like the Prime Minister .The captain needs to be given more decision making powers.

Some may say that such rules may take away the charm from the game of football. I tend to disagree.I feel that some changes need to be made to make the game more dynamic, lively & unpredictable…Watching a 90 minute match for 1 odd goal is not something everyone wishes for.

As I have suggested in my 7th blog post (one regarding B-school guest lectures), there is no harm in trying something new . You can always revert back to older formats which we are following since ages.

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