FIFA says 60-minute game clock's time has come


Some of the radical proposals suggested by the IFAB include allowing players to dribble with the ball directly from a corner or free-kick, seeing penalty goals awarded when an outfield player deliberately stops a goal-bound shot with his hands, and awarding penalties for pass-backs.

Created to tackle the lovely game's negative aspects, the document has three aims: to improve player behavior and respect, increase actual playing time, and to increase fairness and attractiveness.

Ifab further informed that some of the proposals could be implemented immediately and require no law changes, while some are "ready for testing/experiments" and some are "for discussion".

The proposals in a document titled "Play Fair" - which also include players being able to play freekicks and corners to themselves - are to be debated over the next nine months and could be added to at a meeting of Ifab, football's global rule making body, next month.

The IFAB said that this change is due to their belief that football matches only see about 60 minutes of "effective playing time" from the 90 minutes that are available.

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 Federation Internationale de Football Association.

A second idea is for referees to stop their watch as play pauses when timewasting is most likely - the final five minutes of the first half and the last 10 minutes of the second half.

Perhaps one of the more intriguing ideas suggested is the plan to only allow the referee to blow the half time or full time whistle when the ball is out of play, in a similar style to rugby.

"Referees are saying to players at corners and free kicks 'remember, the cameras are watching you.' Players know they can not get away with things such as violent conduct and bad tackles". Pre-match handshakes in technical area for the two coaches and referee "as a sign of respect". Referees in Russian Federation also must monitor stoppages - including goal celebrations - more strictly by adding more additional time.

That idea was mostly met with confusion and derision, and Van Basten declined to discuss it when asked at a briefing in St Petersburg on the eve of the Confederations Cup.