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Time-wasting targeted by football lawmakers: report

Substitutions after 90 minutes may be forbidden by football’s lawmakers in a bid to crack down on time-wasting one of them has told The Times © IKIMAGES/AFP / Glyn KIRK

LONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 26Time-wasting is to be tackled by football’s lawmaking body the International Football Association Board (IFAB), British daily The Times reported on Friday.

Measures such as forbidding substitutions after 90 minutes — which is seen as a habitual tactic to wind down the clock — could be looked at, the board member who spoke with The Times said.

Also players may be ordered to take the shortest route off the pitch when they are substituted rather than trudge across the pitch towards the dug outs shaking hands with team-mates which is often the case — this is already being tested in junior tournaments.

According to The Times substitutions after 90 minutes have happened in 24.3 per cent of Premier League matches since the start of last season, up 3 per cent since 2012.

The average playing time for a Premier League match is 55 minutes 9 seconds this season but varies markedly.

The nadir in terms of playing time has been the clash between Cardiff City and Burnley on September 30 with fans witnessing 42 minutes 2 seconds of action although it did produce three goals — Burnley winning 2-1.

“Looking at ways to cut down on time-wasting, speed up the game and increase playing time is one of our priorities,” the member of the IFAB board told the paper.

“A rule to say there should be no substitutions during added-on time is an interesting one and could work well.

“Referees add on 30 seconds for a substitution but in practice it can eat up a lot more time than that.

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“There would, however, need to be trials to see if there are any unforeseen ramifications.”

According to the newspaper IFAB are looking into other ways of speeding up play.

Ideas mooted include players inside their own penalty area being able to receive goalkicks and the ball can be moving when taking freekicks.

The proposals will be discussed at IFAB’s advisory panels next month ahead of the annual meeting in March next year.

IFAB consists of the four British associations —- they owe their position on the board due to the game originating in the British Isles — and governing body FIFA.

The FA and its fellow associations have one vote apiece whilst FIFA have four with six votes required to introduce new laws.

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