Albert is an amazing sports columnist who fancies every opportunity to write educative sports articles, grab a seat and enjoy.
Why football is God's gift to humanity
If the Igbo people of Nigeria, who once temporarily stopped a civil war for 48 hours just to watch the Pele's team (Santos) play the Nigeria national team (then Green Eagles) were to resurrect and see the changes their cherished game is soon expecting, then we would be in for a world war. A war that would be sparked by either, them been mad that the changes should have occurred a long time ago or them protesting the beautiful game is headed to the ruins.
Football is God's gift to humanity. It is the only sport that keeps many moving even on a bad day, it doesn't matter if you are a boy or a girl, whether you play soccer or not, how old you are, what matters is that football is inevitable.
When Hendrik Johannes Cruijff said "You use a knife and a fork to eat, it was like that a hundred years ago, and a hundred years from now it will still be the same, some things don't change. The same applies to football" He must have noticed the excitement that comes with the game.
But things could change, Five years from the death of the three-time Ballon d'Or winner, the game could see changes that could make his famous quote null and void, thus causing social media uproar.
But are you familiar with the proposals? Let's take a deeper look at them.
You use a knife and a fork to eat, it was like that a hundred years ago, and a hundred years from now it will still be the same, some things don't change. The same applies to football
— Johan Cruijff
1. Two 30 minutes halves.
In a bid to curb wasting time, world football rule-makers are considering scrapping the 45 minutes for each half and replacing it with 30 minutes for each half. In a document titled play fair, The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has outlined the change to the game in a new strategy.
This will see a football match last for 60 minutes instead of the current 90 minutes. Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has been calling for changes citing that football is now taking much time and thus making it boring.
2. Clock stoppage every out of play sequence.
You may have seen this in rugby, well, it's soon shifting to soccer. Previously players have been blamed for time-wasting. It's not a surprise to hear a fan lament, "had (so and so) not faked an injury in the dying minutes we would have won the game." Such complaints might soon be coming to an end if the proposal is successful. Sadly it is this rule that has led to efforts to reduce the 90-minute game by a whopping thirty minutes.
Whether this rule will be successful only time will tell.
3. Kick-ins to replace throwings.
You may `have seen players wasting too much time deliberating on who to throw the ball to, this is maybe because players cannot make the long throws to a preferred player. Well, soon that could change, we might not be seeing the long throwings we are accustomed to into the box. The kind that results in powerful headers into the net or a beautiful volley that lead to marvellous goals.
Instead, we will now have to adapt to kick-ins. A player will use his legs instead of his hands. This could result in perhaps more accurate passes given that the kick-ins can be made longer. This proposal has excited some football analysts with former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger the 70-year-old, who was manager of Arsenal for 22 years, believes it would be fairer.
According to International Football Association Board IFAB, The strategy proposes measures to reduce time-wasting and speed up the game.
4. Unlimited substitutions.
You may have seen it in basketball, where a whole team is substituted after a quarter and a new set of players are brought to the court. Well, get ready to see this in soccer. Among the raft of changes proposed is an unlimited number of substitutions which will be an increase from the current six substitutions.
For a long time, football pundits have praised and criticized coach's tactics based on the kind of changes they make, this could soon be history. With this change, the gaffer will have all the players at his disposal, he will field as many as he can and change tactics at his own wish.
5. 5- Minute Suspension per Yellow Card.
Have you watched a football match where players make deliberate fouls to help the team at least salvage a point or even three points? Or have you watched goalkeepers deliberately waste time to pass time to enable them to win a match? Have you ever watched ice hockey and seen situations where a player is penalized to stay out of action for a particular duration? This could soon be replicated in football.
By the look of things we could also have such a rule, this is if the proposals will be passed. IFAB seeks to improve player behaviour and increase respect by enforcing rules that will see the game increase its attractiveness. Goalkeepers have also been in the spotlight with a proposal to have to hold the ball for six seconds, failure to which they risk a yellow card.
What these rules could mean.
Obviously, these changes could bring effects on the game. With an increase in the number of substitutions, it could mean the game would have an increase in the number of goals since the fatigue issue would not be a concern anymore.
There is also something about tactical changes that could change, we will witness more tactics been employed in the game as different players have different abilities.
Perhaps we will also witness more discipline as a yellow card will no longer be a good thing for a player to get.
And while there is an uproar among the football fraternity I remain calm to see the outcome of the 2021 FIFA proposals which have already been tested. During the testing, between RB Leipzig and AZ Alkmaar junior teams friendly match, which ended 0-6 in favour of the Dutch cast, in the second half a boy from RB Leipzig was booked and, as the new rule says, had to leave the pitch for 5 minutes. And just in that period, the whole of the Netherlands nailed 2 annotations. From 0-1 to 0-3 for that numerical difference.
Will football continue to be interesting? Well, only time will tell.