By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
  1. David Bolt

    David Bolt Member

    May 30, 2008
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Wales

    Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

    By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
    [​IMG]

    It’s been over a week since the World Cup ended. It feels like the end of an era, because the next one will be weird, for us in Europe at least, as it’s played in November. Following that, the 2026 World Cup will have 48 teams in 16 groups of 3, robbing us of the most dramatic part of this World Cup, which was the final group games, where the team that was qualifying changed several times during the games.

    But, as well as the good, the tournament highlighted some of the bad in football and I've been thinking about some of the ways football can be improved.

    A lot of these ideas are VAR-centric. Now, I hate VAR. It’s an overblown solution to a problem that has only ever existed in the minds of annoyed fans, and certain managers who’ve become accustomed to using the referee as a cover for their own mistakes.

    What we got at the World Cup was a version of VAR that felt like a beta test, and created as many problems as it solved.

    However, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. VAR looks like it’s here to stay. People like me will just have to get used to it. So, rather than moaning about VAR’s failings, here’s some ideas as to how we make it a little better.

    1. Full-speed replays in VAR

    A no-brainer. Slow-motion has many advantages, but it can also give a false idea of what really happened. Studies have shown that a referee watching an incident on slo-mo will be more likely to think it intentional. I think the wise thing to do is include full-speed replays as part of the VAR process.

    The World Cup final changed as a result of the handball given against Ivan Perisic. It meant Croatia had to take a few more risks, commit a few more players forward, which then gave France’s attackers the chance to wreak havoc on a Croatia defence that had done a good job of bottling them up.

    I don’t know if Nestor Pitana only had slo-mo replays in the final or if he watched some full speed replays. Watching the Perisic ‘handball’ on slo-mo, I still didn’t think it was a penalty, but I can see why some others might have. However, I think that if anyone, the referee included, saw that in full-speed, it would be clear that Perisic didn’t intentionally handle the ball; he just didn’t have the time to.

    2. Time limits on VAR

    The whole point of VAR is that it’s supposed to be used only when there’s a ‘clear and obvious error’. It’s not meant to be used for marginal and subjective calls such as the Perisic incident.

    As it’s only meant to be used when there’s a clear and obvious error, there shouldn’t be any need for the replays to take more than say, a minute? It should really be a case of referee taking a look at a replay or two, and immediately realising their mistake, or not. If it takes longer, it wasn’t clear or obvious and shouldn’t have ever been referred.

    3. Make the VAR ref give the decision

    One of the big flaws with VAR in its current form is that it’s only advisory. Ultimately it comes down to the referee on the pitch to make a decision. Referees by nature have to be stubborn when they make a decision. At least one set of players and fans will dispute any decision made. So, referees can be told they’re wrong and ignore it.

    But, if you are told you’re wrong by your peers, you’re going to be more likely to listen. It’s inevitable that there’s a sort of confirmation bias there and they’ll look at the replays looking for where they made a mistake.

    So, I think it should be taken out of the referees hands. The VAR referees are all qualified enough to make the decision, and they're all dressed for it, so let them make it. That’s how it works in other sports like Cricket and Rugby.

    4. Adopt the Green Card

    One of the few negatives from this World Cup was the sheer amount of cheating that was going on. VAR added to this, with players exaggerating the slightest bit of contact in the hopes of attracting the attention of the VAR officials. Football is the only sport I can think of where it’s an accepted tactic to try and get one of your opponents sent off. It’s not a good look for the sport.

    Earlier this summer, I was at the CONIFA World Football Cup in London, and they had a neat solution in that the referees there had the power to show a green card to any player caught cheating or doing any other unsportsmanlike behaviour. A player shown a green card had to be immediately substituted. If the player’s team had already used all of its subs, then they go down to 10 men.

    This could be easily introduced, especially with VAR, where it would be a simple matter of getting the VAR officials to check the replay of any incident and direct the on-field referee to show the green card.

    5. 10-minute concussion checks for head injuries

    Football has a horribly cavalier approach to head injuries. Concussion is barely understood, and its diagnosis is more likely to be seen as an excuse being made for poor performance, rather than a potentially serious injury.

    At present, it’s up to each team’s doctor to make a concussion diagnosis, with FIFA recommending that a concussed player doesn’t play with 6 days, but it is likely that there are many players purposely going undiagnosed or not receiving proper care.

    During the game between Morocco and Iran, Morocco’s Nordin Amrabat was knocked out by a nasty clash of heads. After the game he spent the night in hospital and suffered memory loss. Astonishingly he was cleared to play against Portugal five days later. Similarly, France’s Blaise Matuidi was clearly dazed after colliding with Eden Hazard during the semi-final, but was somehow allowed to play on only to collapse a few minutes later. Matuidi was cleared to play in the final.

    Diagnosing concussions takes time. So, let’s give the doctors and the players that time. In Rugby League, any player with a suspected head injury has go off for a 10-minute concussion check.

    Football should do the same. Any player who goes down with a head injury should be made to leave the pitch for a 10-minute concussion check. They could be temporarily replaced by another player, and like rugby, if the concussed player isn’t fit to carry on, then that substitution becomes permanent. The concussion checks should also be carried out by an independent neurologist, who wouldn’t be subject to the pressures a team doctor would have in getting a player back on the pitch.

    This would have several benefits. Players in need of treatment would get it. Players going down holding their face to try and get an opponent sent off would stop if they had to sit out 10 minutes. And, if we’re using VAR, then you could have a neurologist looking at possible incidences of players needing assessment that have been missed on the pitch.

    6. Mic up referees

    Too often players and referees use the referee as a convenient punching bag for their own failings with impunity. They are allowed to treat the ref in a way no person should be treated. And, that message filters down, which is why parents seem to think it’s acceptable to scream abuse at a teenager referring a game, and that teenager in turn decides the peanuts they’re paid isn’t worth the abuse, and quits, and that’s why referee numbers are dropping.

    Football has failed to do anything about this. Campaigns to respect the referee fizzle out when the players ignore it and the authorities do nothing to enforce it. Worse, they enable it by telling referees to either ignore, or only mildly punish incidents such as Ronaldo getting in referee Cesar Arturo Ramos’ face and screaming ‘F**k you’ towards the end of Portugal’s defeat by Uruguay.

    If the authorities aren’t going to get them to stop, then I think the only way will be if the world gets to hear the things players say to referees. Players may not care if the world gets to hear them abusing another person, but their sponsors will. If sponsors get nervous about being associated with the sport, or a particular player, the abuse will stop.
     
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Comments

Discussion in 'World Cup 2018 - Russia' started by David Bolt, Jul 25, 2018.

    1. VFish

      VFish Member+

      Jan 7, 2001
      Atlanta, GA
      Club:
      Atlanta

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      7. Change the offside rule. I am tired of goals being called back when there was no advantage by the offside offense. I say draw the line from the 18 yard box all the way across the field and if the ball is played from within the final 18 no one is offside.
       
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    2. VFish

      VFish Member+

      Jan 7, 2001
      Atlanta, GA
      Club:
      Atlanta

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      I don't think #5 will ever work. You will have concussed players left and right that either just want to get a spell or for tactical reasons.
       
    3. VFish

      VFish Member+

      Jan 7, 2001
      Atlanta, GA
      Club:
      Atlanta

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      I like #6 because some of this player behavior toward the referee should never be tolerated. I am not sure it will have any effect on at the lower levels where referee abuse is much worse and video cams are not as practical. Youth programs should be able to police themselves, but the adult leagues are a mess and we are talking about games where refs are working with volunteer linesmen from each team.
       
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    4. Skuzzy

      Skuzzy Member+

      Feb 15, 2014
      Los Angeles
      Club:
      Club América
      Nat'l Team:
      Mexico

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      I'd just like to see them use multiball during injury time
       
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    5. Bavarian14

      Bavarian14 Member

      Bayern München
      Jun 1, 2017
      Nat'l Team:
      --other--

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      I'd prefer a more cricket like VAR approach. Each team can make 3 challenges in case they don't agree with referres decision.The VAR referee will have the final say
       
      BalanceUT repped this.
    6. Metropolitan

      Metropolitan Member

      Paris Saint Germain
      France
      Sep 5, 2005
      Paris
      Club:
      Paris Saint Germain FC
      Nat'l Team:
      France

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      I know that people living many people hate diving (especially in English-speaking countries), but the border between what is right and what is wrong isn't always as clear as it may sound.

      First thing, how do you make the difference between someone intentionally diving and someone who actually only wants to dodge a contact in order to not get hurt? This actually happens tons of times especially on tackles, the defender goes it fully to stop the forward and the forward, who could just take passively the contact and earn a legitimate foul, but actually dodges it as a reflex simply to not get hurt.

      Second thing, every players in offensive position think about getting a good free-kick near the penalty area. A good professional knows what to do to pressure the defender opposing him and make him hit his leg whereas the defender was actually genuinely looking for the ball. We have plenty of free kicks given around the penalty area that way. In such a context, there is clearly no intention from the defender to actually make a foul as he knows this would put his team in danger, but it's usually considered "well-played" from the opponent if he tricked the defender and made him commit a foul against its will. The intention here is exactly the same as in case of diving: to earn a foul against a defender who doesn't want to commit one, but in one case it's morally wrong and in the other it's not.

      I'm just pointing out those two examples because, in real life there are tons of middle ground. Situations are rarely as cristal clear as fans interpret them in front of their TV.
       
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    7. Paul Calixte

      Paul Calixte Moderator
      Staff Member

      Orlando City SC
      Apr 30, 2009
      Miami, FL
      Club:
      Orlando City SC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      "It’s an overblown solution to a problem that has only ever existed in the minds of annoyed fans..."

      So every goal that's ever involved a handball that VAR could have caught (e.g. France vs. Ireland, 2009) only existed in the minds of annoyed fans?
       
    8. nonflyingdutchman

      nonflyingdutchman New Member

      Apr 22, 2010
      Kansas City
      Club:
      Arsenal FC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      something needs to be done about time wasting. Giving the referee the ability to start and stop the clock would do away with most of it. I also think that there should be an automatic yellow card for anyone moving, holding, or kicking the ball on a dead ball.
       
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    9. 954gator

      954gator Member

      Jun 16, 2016

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      I'd like to see some changes to substitutions. Seems like the team winning just saves them until the extra time to waste it all down. Maybe add a mandatory minute (if past 80 minutes etc) per substitution. It's just a cheap tactic, especially when there are so many other ways to waste time.
       
    10. It's called FOOTBALL

      May 4, 2009

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      Institute a penalty box. Some reds are worth 90 minutes while some are worth just seconds, for the same offense. Ridiculous
       
    11. VFish

      VFish Member+

      Jan 7, 2001
      Atlanta, GA
      Club:
      Atlanta

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      LOL! I am sure you would. ;)

      I have an idea for extra time. Rather than play 11 v 11 each team has to take off one player and play 10 v 10. In the second extra time each team takes off another player and it is 9 v 9. I hate the penalty shoot out. It is like you spend 120 minutes of intense competition only to decide the match by an entirely different contest.
       
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    12. Initial B

      Initial B Member

      Jan 29, 2014
      Club:
      Ottawa Fury

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      Then that could fall under a green card offense subject to VAR for confirmation.

      Again, VAR could be used as usually if it's a dive, players will try to sell it by rolling a couple of times. You know that tackle is bad if the tackled player just lies motionless after the play.
       
    13. Cliveworshipper

      Cliveworshipper Member+

      Dec 3, 2006

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      Six rolls gets you sent off. No hurt player can roll that much.

      Half rolls are cumulative.

      If you hold your face when you get clipped in the ankle, it counts as six rolls.
       
    14. Cliveworshipper

      Cliveworshipper Member+

      Dec 3, 2006

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM

      Go to 5 v 5 with bare feet and no shin pads. Keepers take off the silly gloves.

      That at least has FIFA precedent.
       
    15. VFish

      VFish Member+

      Jan 7, 2001
      Atlanta, GA
      Club:
      Atlanta

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      Let's not go crazy here. Still 9 v 9 but the keepers have to take off the gloves and eat buttered popcorn during the break.
       
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    16. VFish

      VFish Member+

      Jan 7, 2001
      Atlanta, GA
      Club:
      Atlanta

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      I think the # of rolls should play into the VAR review.
      \
       
    17. Cliveworshipper

      Cliveworshipper Member+

      Dec 3, 2006
      #18 Cliveworshipper, Jul 26, 2018
      Last edited: Jul 26, 2018

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM

      Ok, but the only review is number of rolls.

      if the refs move away from you and you roll-follow them and clip them in the back of the legs, you are off.

      “ ¡ no me tocas!”
       
    18. VFish

      VFish Member+

      Jan 7, 2001
      Atlanta, GA
      Club:
      Atlanta

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      All kidding aside, I think VAR has already helped with the problem of play acting. What I'd like to see is FIFA allow video review post match.
       
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    19. Cliveworshipper

      Cliveworshipper Member+

      Dec 3, 2006
      #20 Cliveworshipper, Jul 26, 2018
      Last edited: Jul 26, 2018

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM

      Video review should not be limited to certain circumstances. If a call is wrong, especially through cheating, it should be reversed.

      Instances of cheating should be punished by send off plus an additional match.


      And penalties in the 18 yard box should be treated the same in consequences for offense and defense.
      For example, Hand ball for the offensive player in the opponent’s box results in a Pk at the other end.
       
    20. Cliveworshipper

      Cliveworshipper Member+

      Dec 3, 2006

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM

      Why wasn’t Neymar cautioned?
       
    21. VFish

      VFish Member+

      Jan 7, 2001
      Atlanta, GA
      Club:
      Atlanta

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      He should have be tossed, in MHO.
       
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    22. mschofield

      mschofield Member+

      May 16, 2000
      Berlin
      Club:
      Union Berlin
      Nat'l Team:
      Germany

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      It's a long tourney, the cumulative yellows over several matches needs to be bumped up (something that can happen without actually changing a rule of the game. Maybe for Qatar, to 4. By the time of the 48 side cups, the cumulative number should be something like 12. While we're on needed changes, maybe for 2026 they could adopt a radical change that would bring the numbers back down to 32. I admit, I watched every group stage game this year, and probably will in 22 and 26 regardless of what they do, but there were half a dozen sides who added very little to the proceedings. And really, whats the point of allowing more no hopers in, esp when the setup is one that favors the traditional sides. These three team groups will be arranged along the lines of the side that goes through, the side that sucks, and the middling sort who might wreck the party.
       
    23. EvanJ

      EvanJ Member+

      Manchester United
      United States
      Mar 30, 2004
      Nassau County, NY
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      With 48 teams, the teams in the Final and Third Place game will play the same amount of games as now, with one fewer in the Group Stage and one in the Round of 32. What do you mean by 12? Even without suspensions for yellows in different games, as long as each red for a second yellow gave a suspension, it would be impossible for a player to get 12 yellows in 7 games.
       
    24. mschofield

      mschofield Member+

      May 16, 2000
      Berlin
      Club:
      Union Berlin
      Nat'l Team:
      Germany

      Changes I'd make to football following the World Cup

      By David Bolt on Jul 25, 2018 at 3:15 PM
      It was intended as a joke but I didn't realize the number of games would be the same. I just really, really do not like the format. I don't see how adding 16 teams not as capable as qualifying as those we saw at the bottom in Russia improves anything. .
       
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