5 Rule Changes That Could Improve World Football

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5 Rule Changes That Could Improve World Football
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Rule changes have been popular in most sports.

In football, however, they have only come slowly and have often faced antagonism from both FIFA, the professional game's governing body and traditionalists who look to maintain whatever purity still remains in the sport.

Yet, for numerous reasons, trends have forced changes in the manner that professional football is played and officiated way before the current debates on goal-line technology and the limitations and accountability of match referees.

In the 1950s, rules concerning substitutions were put in place after Horst Eckel became the first-ever, game-time replacement in a 1954 World Cup qualifying match between Germany and Saarland which paved the road to the three permitted substitutes allowed in football today.

Similarly, in the early 1990s the Golden Goal rule was introduced as a “sudden death” alternative in order to avoid penalty shootouts. Following the 2004 Euros in Portugal, it fizzled out and was replaced instead with two fifteen-minute halves prior to penalties, increasing fairness in the eyes of FIFA and once again altering the Laws of the Game.

So, while rule changes to improve professional football have sometimes been few and far between, they are by no means rare.

Now that goal-line technology has been sanctioned by FIFA and seems to be in place for upcoming seasons, there remain only a handful of rule changes that upon implementation could arguably improve as well as better popularize the beautiful game.

The following list includes five potential changes that the powers behind professional football should consider for the future.

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