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Penalty goals among radical proposals up for debate

The intention of the new football proposals is to increase the amount of playing time, according to The Times who have seen the document © AFP/File / Glyn KIRK

LONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 17Penalty goals for handling the ball on the line could be a thing of the future if proposals compiled by the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) technical director are accepted.

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 intention is to increase the amount of playing time, according to The Times who have seen the document.

“It is a radical document,” Ifab technical director David Elleray told The Times.

“You could say that it is a quiet revolution aimed at getting football even better.

“My starting point was to look at the laws and say ‘what are they for?’, and if there is no particular reason then would changing them make the game better,” added Elleray, a former leading referee.

Awarding a goal for handball on the line would have probably seen Ghana reach the 2010 World Cup semi-finals as Uruguay’s Luis Suarez was sent off for handling Dominic Adiyiah’s goalbound shot on the line in the dying seconds of extra-time — Asamoah Gyan failed to convert the penalty and the South American side went on to win in the penalty shootout.

Elleray also recommends that referees only be able to blow for half-time or full-time when the ball is out of play and penalties being awarded if a goalkeeper handles a backpass.

On the other hand goalkeepers will be able to play goal kicks to team-mates inside the area with their opponents obliged to be outside it.

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However, for those taking a penalty there may be no second chance should their first effort be saved and rebound into play — the document recommends that a goalkick be awarded automatically.

“There would thus be no need for players to crowd on the edge of the penalty area ready to run in early,” reads the document.

“To discourage them further, if an attacking player enters the penalty area before the penalty kick is taken the kick is ‘missed’; if a defending player does the same and the kick is missed/saved it is retaken.”

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