Football's governing bodies could move to outlaw the substitution of players during time added on for stoppages.
The International FA Board (Ifab) has found that substitutions are occurring after the regulation 90 minutes are up in one in four Premier League matches, with the belief that it is a almost entirely a time-wasting tactic.
Other measures aimed at increasing the amount of actual playing time include mandating that players who are being taken off would have to leave the field via the closest touchline rather than walk across the pitch, permitting goal kicks to be passed to players within the penalty area, and allowing free kicks to be taken while the ball is still moving.
The issue will be discussed further at Ifab's advisory panels next month, with the organisation's annual meeting to follow in March next year.
“Looking at ways to cut down on time-wasting, speed up the game and increase playing time is one of our priorities,” one board member is quoted as saying in The Times.
Reader Comments (72)
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1 Posted 27/10/2018 at 04:00:56
2 Posted 27/10/2018 at 04:54:39
This isnt hard guys. In many sports you can do this amazing thing where a person actually operates the clock and, wait for it, simply stop the clock when the ball is not in play, and start the clock once play resumes. Mind blowing I know. Of course, you wont get out of the ground in 90 minutes, but youll get 90 minutes of football. You decide what youd rather pay for. Players actually playing football or players standing with the ball out of play for nearly half of that 90 minutes.
3 Posted 27/10/2018 at 07:08:23
I completely agree with this. So sensible it shouldn't even need a discussion.
When I first started watching AFL I was blown away by a rule they have which encourages good time-keeping and respect. Basically, if a free-kick is awarded to the opposition and you have the ball in your hands when the whistle is blown, you have to give it to the recipient of the free-kick immediately. It's your responsibility to get the ball into their hands. If you so much as ‘accidentally' kick it past your opponent then you will concede a 50-m penalty (a pretty severe punishment in Aussie Rules).
On another AFL note, you also don't see opponents laughing, joking and helping one another up after fouls etc. Shake hands at the end of the game... that's fine. But there shouldn't be an ounce of love lost while there's a game to win.
4 Posted 27/10/2018 at 07:24:01
Surely it is already incumbent upon referees, to stop the watch when the ball is dead as on a substitution, and to ban subs in time added on is simply cheating fans out of seeing a fair and balanced game.
If the proposal is accepted, we could see a situation when a player is genuinely hurt in added time but is not allowed to be subbed, so penalising his team by reducing his team to ten players, or less, depending on what else has previously occurred (sending offs etc). A totally ludicrous idea!
5 Posted 27/10/2018 at 07:55:00
In football, referees need to just wise-up and, if it's so blatant that players are wasting time, then just add more injury time, which I think they do already and I think is far. Players waste time? Add more time at the end. Simple.
At first, I thought banning subs in added time was a good idea to help the flow of the game; however, I just read Brian's post about an injury and bringing the team down to 10 men and now agree that it is a quite an unfair idea.
6 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:10:33
Good point about when this goes on. However, Refs should be directed to pay more attention to time wasting during the entire game. We already have a solution for blatant time wasting, it's called a yellow card.
Not being able to substitute following an injury already happens, in normal time, when all substitution's have been used. And we're talking about a few minutes. Let's keep it in perspective.
Not so sure about the moving ball for free kicks rumour though.
7 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:16:49
8 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:26:28
9 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:32:26
There was a proposal at the last big meeting, last season, to do away with the 90 minute clock and to introduce a 60 minute clock. The proposal was that games last for less than 60 minutes (I think they said it was actually 55 minutes) of time with the "ball in play". The idea was the clock, as others have said above, was operated by someone else so that every second was "ball in play". It got rejected.
Now this, for me, is very significant. This is getting very close to an Americanisation. If someone else can operate the clock, and the time with the ball not in play becomes less urgent, then how long before we have a 5 second advert break? Then those 5 second advert breaks become longer and longer. Next stop American football.
No thanks. Football needs its urgency. Keep it as it is. Time wasting is a part of the game. Sure, try to reduce it with sanctions (yellow cards) and get refs to book more players. But let's not start down a slippery slope towards turning it into American Football.
10 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:48:04
I was at a grassroots game a couple of weeks ago where the ref added every bit of time on due to the ball going out. 15 minutes of injury time and ironically the team wasting time scored 2 goals during added time.
Rather than add time I would turn over possession.
Wasted time on goal-kicks could turn into free-kicks from outside the box due to time wasting or a throw-in given to the opposition if they exceeded the time limit.
I can't see anything like that being brought into the game when things like diving are being classed as 'clever play' by commentators and condoned by managers.
11 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:51:34
The ref controls the stopping and restarting in rugby and it works well.
But then VAR works really well in lots of other sports and FIFA managed to make that a farce when used in football.
12 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:08:23
13 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:15:06
14 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:16:55
15 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:18:37
16 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:21:10
You can bet your life that, once the clock stops, there will be massive money thrown at football to go to a commercial. Only a 5-second one we will be told. But they will get longer and longer.
Stopping the clock would be the worst thing to happen to football. It would lead to an unrecognisable game, in the way that American Football is unrecognisable from Rugby.
We can't allow it. Football needs the urgency. Sure, time-wasting is infuriating, but it's part of the game. Always has been. I'd rather that than wrecking the game with commercial breaks.
17 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:22:20
He's won everything in the air throughout the game, a defensive master class.
He can't continue and has to come off.
We play on with 10 men because we're not allowed a substitution.
The shite bombard our box with crosses and hopeful balls.
They score the winner in the last minute of injury time with a header, following a cross into the box.
Or instead of Mina, Pickford with one of the outfield players having to go in goal?
18 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:31:23
For the uninitiated, IFAB is made up of 5 guys, one each from FA (England), IFA (N. Ireland), SFA (Scotland), WFA (Wales), and FIFA. So, as you can see we retain the domination of the rules as the inventors of the game.
19 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:32:22
I see the difference that football, not rugby, is the big money game here, so football and TV might be tempted to introduce in-game ads. But if you look at Oz and NZ, the big game is rugby – I may be wrong but I'm not aware they have in-game ads there.
20 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:37:32
It can't ever happen now, because the clock is ticking. Once the clock stops, it can. If it can, it will. It's just a matter of time. I have no doubt that Football will be around for at least another hundred years, and I will be surprised if Football does not go the way of American Football. I just hope it doesn't happen in my life time.
Stopping the clock is step one. So we need to stop that from happening. Add time on at the end, as we do now. Just make a better job of it.
21 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:40:36
What would happen if we had 20 minutes of injury time and Mina's and Keane's heads collide going for a header? And Keane elbows Pickford. And all 3 have to go off?
We're talking about reality here, not if a comet hits Goodison Park.
22 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:45:41
Steve, you've now introduced the option of adding time on at the end, for all stoppages I assume. If applied properly (!), fine. But somebody needs to get a grip.
23 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:51:42
The example was used to show an incident that could easily happen, one that could decide the outcome of a game because a stupid rule was brought in because referees or official timekeepers can't control the game.
Your comet example was nothing to do with a stupid rule change... it was just stupid.
24 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:03:04
I think things are fine as they are. We just need to add a bit more time on to stop sides time wasting so much, and book offenders more often. The same teams do it game after game, and those yellows would add up and cost them in the long term.
25 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:09:42
Hey!... we'll allow you to take it on either side. It's not like a keeper will spend an eternity dribbling the ball along the goal area to waste time, is it?
26 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:17:16
It wasn't stupid - it was ironic.
The analogy was possible, but improbable.
Looking back over several seasons, I think Steve's scenario is more likely to happen than yours. Stop the game and its only a matter of time.
As I've said above, there are already scenarios where there are no further substitutions long before injury time. And many outfield players have had to put on a pair of gloves in the past.
The team would need to do what they would do now. Deal with it.
Having said that, I really like the idea of turning over possession for time-wasting.
27 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:28:53
And Alan (#24) is quite right about goal-kicks being allowed from either side of the goal. Falls just within the rules so can't be penalised in itself.
28 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:36:00
29 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:47:11
I thought drying the ball with a towel had been banned, as it's not considered to be part of a player's kit?
30 Posted 27/10/2018 at 12:11:03
A simple solution would be to take time keeping out of the hands of the “men in the middle” and make it the responsibility of the fourth official. Some hope!
31 Posted 27/10/2018 at 12:40:18
Anyway I was talking about the derby at their ground, lol!
32 Posted 27/10/2018 at 12:46:58
I wish they would consider David Elleray's suggestion that players should be 10 min sin-binned rather than booked, which removes the incentive for time wasting right away and, in the last 10 mins, would effectively be a sending off. This rewards the team that is being offended against right away rather than some future opponent of the perpetrator.
33 Posted 27/10/2018 at 13:05:54
34 Posted 27/10/2018 at 13:58:36
I agree that a firmer line should be adopted by the referees; any suggestion of time wasting should be punished by the production of a yellow card. Unfortunately, as with foul tackles etc, different referees will have their own view of things, and inconsistency will reign.
I believe that the answer lies with the managers and players, which means that – no matter what system is put into place – the abuse will continue. I have seen football go from a sport to a business and a science, and I can't say I've enjoyed the transformation.
35 Posted 27/10/2018 at 15:46:18
Your comparison to American football is so far off the mark. If they wanted to they could do commercial breaks now. During injuries is when American football most often cuts to a commercial, because they know its gonna take at least 1-2 minutes, which is the same in our matches.
Also, American football doesnt stop the clock after each play. They stop it after specific plays, scoring plays, injuries, incomplete passes. When they run the ball or complete a pass the clock doesnt stop. Its the changes in possession that stop the clock and are used for commercial breaks, along with injuries. It really holds not comparison to football as a way to say we cant do better at not letting half the actual game be wasted by the ball not being in play.
There are so many other sports that use a clock. The NBA uses a clock. A player gets 5 seconds to put the ball back in play or possession is lost to the opposing team. They have a shot clock. They have 8 seconds to get the ball into the attacking half or else possession is lost to the opposing team.
In your Coca Cola commercial scenario you claim it cant happen now because the clock is ticking? Nonsense. When Keane went down with that head injury he was down for more than 5 minutes, clock was ticking, no play was happening. If they wanted to they could have cut to commercial, come back for 30 seconds, then gone back to commercial. Nothing about the clock ticking was stopping them. Those are the scenarios where the NFL takes commercials. Football doesnt, but could if they wanted to. They just choose not to.
FIFA already implemented water breaks during international competitions when the heat is at a dangerous point. Is watching 22 men drink from sponsor labeled water bottles for 5 minutes different than a commercial? The pitch is literally surrounded with commercial adverts and the bloody shirts are adverts. The least we could get is 90 minutes of ACTUAL football.
36 Posted 27/10/2018 at 15:58:57
37 Posted 27/10/2018 at 16:20:43
They also have an interchange rule where players can be subbed/interchanged to a maximum number of times times during a game and the player coming on cannot take the field until the leaving player has left and this without stopping play. It is somewhat ironic that substitutes were first allowed to stop players being "clogged", taken out of the game by foul play but was so abused that subs could be made at any time.
Anyone who saw Revie's Leeds of the 60s & 70s would know the lengths that can be gone to to stop an oppositions momentum.
38 Posted 27/10/2018 at 16:48:38
39 Posted 27/10/2018 at 20:36:14
I am with Steve Ferns on this. What, perhaps, someday,adds tailored to the injury? Time wasting is infuriating but is part of the game that can be simply dealt with by any competent unbent referee.
The notion that anyone pays to watch football and not the bits inbetween is ludicrous. How about dealing with the fouls committed at corners that would warrant a red card anywhere else on the pitch. It is the biggest blight on football now and is caused by the utter spinelessness of those judging referees.
If a referee missed ten instances of a player being wrestled to the ground anywhere other than corners, his career would be over.
40 Posted 27/10/2018 at 20:53:01
As ever, it's good to hear other people's views.
41 Posted 28/10/2018 at 01:26:30
For non-head injuries, just play on (as they're supposed to do anyway!) When the ball goes out of play, have the player leave the pitch immediately by the nearest touchline and prevent them from rejoining the match for two minutes after play restarts.
I'm sick of seeing players rolling around on the floor for three or four minutes receiving treatment, then leave the pitch looking like Heather McCartney only to be ushered back on immediately at which point they break into a full sprint.
42 Posted 28/10/2018 at 01:40:38
All the Officials are miked up these days so the Fourth Offical just needs to tell the ref: "Trainer on to treat injured player, play carries on."
Possibly the only time it wouldn't work is if the injured player is in the penalty box.
43 Posted 28/10/2018 at 07:12:12
Some 15 yrs later, Guardiola stepped in to show us that Barça could keep the ball in play for 80 mins. The result,.. they won. Always.
A real man makes his own luck, 'n all that.
44 Posted 28/10/2018 at 08:30:24
I personally like the rugby union method of moving the kick nearer goal for dissent or if one is tackled after a tap- penalty within 5 metres of the kick. Our refs have enough power to prevent most of the problems by actually adding on time.
However, they are often so busy that they forget to do so. One also wonders if the TV broadcasters pressure them to not only start the game exactly on time, but blow-up for half time and full time as soon as possible to allow the adverts to be fitted in.
45 Posted 28/10/2018 at 10:56:59
I do think it would be a good idea to make injured players leave the pitch from the nearest touchline though. Should apply it to substitutions also. Watching a player trudge slowly across the pitch whether injured or subbed while the oppositions players and ref tell him to hurry up is really annoying and is obvious gamesmanship.
To be honest I would take timekeeping out of the hands of refs anyway. Make the 4th official the timekeeper and every time the play stops for free kicks, injuries, substitutions etc. he can stop his clock until play starts again. That way any time-wasting would simply become part of the 90 minutes and there would be no injury time.
46 Posted 28/10/2018 at 12:02:36
Look out for mass substitutions between 85 and 89 minutes on the clock!!
47 Posted 29/10/2018 at 13:28:06
48 Posted 29/10/2018 at 13:45:06
I think they tried to do something about players not retiring the 10 yards (9 metres) at free kicks. If players didn't retreat, the referee could move the free-kick forward 10 yards (9 m) but the plan was dropped, after initial use, as continental referees said they didn't know how far 10 yards (9 m) was but it was never clarified if that meant how far forward the kick should be moved or if it referred to how far back a player was from the kick.
And is it still a rule that the referee is the sole judge of time?
49 Posted 29/10/2018 at 15:58:43
You then get to use all of the matchday squad and the tactical element of when you sub doesn't eat into time. It lessens fatigue in the game as not all players are playing the full 90, something to bear in mind when heavy schedues build up.
Again, much of the wasted time is for minor injuries were the trainer comes on, potentially reduced with the suggestion above. I think referees should ignore it... to a point as they are not doctors.
If the player knows he could be immediately replaced by a rolling sub they might be less inclined to roll around, they might not get back on the field for 10minutes! The choice is theirs.
Stopping the clock is for me a nonsense unless it's a serious injury, that's fine and then restart it so we only 'play' 90 minutes.
Another major source of delay are free kicks and kicking the ball away. If you want the game to be fluid then this has to be addressed. It's engrained for a footballer of any standard to kick the ball away or how long it takes to set up a direct free kick. Just let the players take it quickly, in many cases they'd prefer it, attempts to stop or impede need to be managed accordingly. I'd prefer that to be with a sin-bin, not a card, but that is way too much for most of the footballing fraternity.
If you want a more fluid game, it's the rules not the clock that's the problem.
50 Posted 29/10/2018 at 18:07:59
Now if you are talking about time-wasting, short corners are up there with subs walking from the other side of the pitch taking more than the 30 seconds added on.
51 Posted 30/10/2018 at 11:50:25
52 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:06:29
Sorry my friend, but you have obviously not really watched American Football.
I watched a whole game last night because my team was playing. Most of the time it is continual action until the possession changes hands. As is based on specialist attacking and defending players they need to change the personnel. It is how it is. Don't argue against it.
Breaks for adverts are:
1. During the time to change possession
3. With 2 minutes to go before the end of each half
4. When there is a VAR decision to be made
5. When a player is injured and needs lengthy treatment on the field.
That is all. To say 5 seconds of play and 2 minutes of commercials is just wrong.
53 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:09:28
You personally like the rugby union method of moving the kick nearer goal for dissent or if one is tackled after a tap-penalty within 5 metres of the kick?
You will then know that smart ass defensive walls will deliberately flaunt this law if a free-kick is within range – so that the nearer the goal, the harder it will be to bend it over a wall...
54 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:12:23
55 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:40:47
The more they dick about with it, the less interesting it becomes. Football is interesting because of the human element, refs making mistakes, linesman making mistakes, players getting away with things, it's all part of the reason football is talked about, and why sites like this exist. Once you remove all that then there's no point in even having an opinion because your opinion will count for zero if it's all been cleared up on the day.
If you strip all that away you get a game with no talking points as it's all done & dusted so we're left with nothing to whinge about.
I don't even like goal-line technology, and VAR is ridiculous.
56 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:52:02
As for subs, well, like John said earlier, I remember when no substitutes were allowed. Then subs were only allowed on through injury but managers soon used this as a way to make a tactical switch, claiming the player coming off couldn't carry on.
I think the initial use of subs could have been influenced by how many times in the FA Cup Final teams had to play with 10 men through a player getting injured. This also led to the likes Bert Trautman the Man City keeper playing on in an FA Cup final with a broken neck and Gerry Byrne of Liverpool playing on with a broken collarbone... tough men in those days.
57 Posted 30/10/2018 at 13:38:07
58 Posted 30/10/2018 at 13:44:12
59 Posted 30/10/2018 at 15:12:13
Actually, my wife beat me to it first. Makes a change - she normally just beats me.
Nice link to good old Tim Howard.
60 Posted 30/10/2018 at 15:23:11
61 Posted 30/10/2018 at 15:40:15
62 Posted 30/10/2018 at 16:38:33
How's that for crawling?
63 Posted 30/10/2018 at 16:44:34
64 Posted 30/10/2018 at 16:49:44
So, unless this law has changed, then a team will be able to put their sub goalie on in injury time, unless of course, the three subs have already been used in the 90 minutes. I imagine the same ruling would apply if a goalie is sent off. That's my view anyway.
65 Posted 31/10/2018 at 01:59:46
We used to do it all the time in the late 80's when we were out of subs or never had any to start with, outfield player went in goal.
Can't call for the referees to take action on this as there aren't enough competent unbiased ones as there are, the reason that VAR was such a joke is that ultimately then it remained with the referees anyway. If you've got a biased or corrupt official giving them more power mandate won't change anything.
I'd like to see it go back to 3 subs but only if 1 of them was a goalie, otherwise 2 subs only and used before 90 mins are up.
66 Posted 31/10/2018 at 10:52:27
Let's face it - what needs to be done is stopping the clock when football isn't played. This, or leave it as it is.
67 Posted 31/10/2018 at 17:42:59
I understand back before there were seven subs (including a goalie), if your goalie was sent off, an outfield player went in goal.
I think where maybe you are misunderstanding my post is that, if all three subs have been used, and all subs used are outfield players, then should a goalie be sent off in injury time, or any time for that matter, an outfield player MUST go in goal.
68 Posted 02/11/2018 at 10:58:45
69 Posted 02/11/2018 at 11:37:55
I thought refs had been told a couple of seasons ago to follow this, but seemingly not.
70 Posted 02/11/2018 at 22:23:47
71 Posted 05/11/2018 at 08:42:46
72 Posted 09/11/2018 at 12:58:19
He was so bad, he used to time waste in the warm-ups...
This issue with the 2-minute "recovery time" is that dirty teams managed by the like of Mark Hughes would exploit this to the full. Go through a man, take the foul and he's off for 2 minutes.
It's trying to get the happy medium between time wasters and sides intentionally hurting/kicking players.
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