The football preseason gives teams and players the chance to prepare for the upcoming campaign. It also gives leagues and football organisations the chance to implement change. Over the years, football leagues and FIFA have worked to develop football during preseason tournaments. This summer is no different as the Future of Football Cup youth tournament featuring PSV Eindhoven, AZ Alkmaar, RB Leipzig, and Club Brugge is testing the waters of rules changes. The new football rules being trialled could one day be a part of the game.
What new football rules are being trialled?
Firstly, it should be noted that the new football rules being trialled at the tournament are major changes to the game. Football would be played by players and consumed by fans in a much different way. Secondly, the rules are in no way a part of FIFA. At least they do not involve FIFA right now.
The new football rules the tournament is trialling include:
- 30-minute halves rather than 45 minutes
- The clock counting down to zero (like in American sports) rather than up to 45 minutes and 90 minutes, respectively
- The clock stopping each time the ball goes out of play rather than stoppage time being tacked on at the end of each half.
- Unlimited substitutions
- A five-minute sin-bin (like in rugby and ice hockey) for players who receive a yellow card
- Kick-ins rather than throw-ins when the ball goes out of play
- Players are allowed to “self-kick” from free-kicks
Why are the new rules being trialled?
As with many sports, the idea of changing the rules of football have come due to widespread belief that young people are no longer interested in the game. It is thought that changing the rules would make new fans from a younger audience. It should be stressed, however, that football is not the only sport that is seeing a shrinkage in its fanbase. The new rules would make the game faster and more fun for new fans to watch. There is still a lot of debate over whether the new rules would actually make new fans or alienate those who are already fans of the game.