Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWhat Football Officialdom could learn From Rugby ( but won’t ) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough What Football Officialdom could learn From Rugby ( but won’t ) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

What Football Officialdom could learn From Rugby ( but won’t )

It is very sad that the ‘ Powers That Be ‘ are so unbending in their grasp on this, our great game. The best way to persuade them seems to be to recommend the opposite. Football could so easily be improved for everyone – by learning from other sports. Here are a few examples and I am sorry they are so blindingly obvious : –

The Sin Bin  ….  works very well in rugby union and rugby league. 10 minutes off the field is a genuine handicap for the team. For minor or repeat offences it is better than the 2 yellows and you are off altogether … which ruins so many  exciting, evenly balanced matches. How many times have we heard … “ he wisely took a yellow “  (and I might add what a terrible way to teach our children how to foul productively .. ie. break the laws!) 

Putting an Incident On Report   ….  is what happens in Rugby League when in the speed of action the officials are not sure about a possibly bad or dangerous offence. It is later considered by a panel (with the aid of film) which can clear the player or ban him for  X  number of matches. Again, much better than football’s red card – which might be wrong and might be inspired by some nasty little actor getting a man sent off for no good reason !

Longer Match Bans  ….  can be imposed in both codes of rugby – to fit the crime. We all know how farcical is a (possible) leg breaker serving the same 3 matches as a (possible) handball on the line. It’s not rocket science. If a Shawcross puts a man out of the game for 10 months surely he should be given a long ban himself ?

Citing  ….  is also used in rugby union – whereby one team may ask for an incident to be reviewed by a panel. This is not for (say) offside but for dangerous personal fouls, off the ball etc.   

First Aid on the Pitch  ….  works well in rugby.  An injury is tended on the pitch until the game naturally halts.  Of course, if the play gets too close the ref. blows up but in many cases it continues and there is no point in a player rolling about play acting. Their team will be down to 10 men till he gets up and continues.  If he is badly hurt he will be looked after just the same. 

Help from Touch Judges (Linesmen)  ….  is most useful for the rugby ref. In all the hurly burly  – forward pass, knock on etc.  I do not believe a rugby touch judge is ever told by the ref.  “ just do the offside, otherwise keep out of it.“  But then for top matches the assistants are themselves top referees  – not  from the lower leagues like rabbits frozen in the headlights.

Key Decision by TV. Technology   ….  has been pleaded for many times. How often are matches decided by incorrect decisions which would not happen in rugby union, rugby league, american football, tennis and others ?  Officialdom uses the argument that you can’t have technology for every game on Hackney Marshes. But it doesn’t matter – if there are no TV cameras to show millions of viewers that this or that decision is outrageous.  Again it’s so obvious!!

So why will those who control football not learn from proven successes elsewhere?  I am tempted to say … because Sepp Blatter doesn’t want to.  I won’t give my opinion of him in case I end up in court but Blatter has a position of ultimate power.  If he says no … the rest of FIFA says no. They have not got where they are enjoying the corrupt and opulent feeding trough by making waves.  Those at EUFA haven’t either … nor those at the FA.  Why spoil it for other committee men and bureaucrats and for themselves?   To achieve more and more committee promotion is their own ultimate … er … goal. 

If anyone can explain why the ‘ Powers That be ‘ are otherwise so determined not to introduce at least some of these and other changes  – I would love to know?


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