Six Ways FIFA Can Dramatically Improve the World Cup

Matt RContributor IAugust 20, 2010

Six Ways FIFA Can Dramatically Improve the World Cup

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    The FIFA World Cup is easily the most anticipated sporting event around the globe, if not the most anticipated event, period.

    The idea of so many countries having a chance to crown an actual world champion is an idea that excites many, if not all.

    Nevertheless, the actual World Cup games hardly ever live up the hype they receive. More times than not, World Cup games are more fun to speculate about or recap than they are to watch, a major flaw in the World Cup product.

    Here are some ideas on how to make the World Cup games not only more bearable, but outright fun to watch as well.

Eliminate Ties/Make Overtime Golden Goal

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    In almost every sport, a game entering its final minutes with both teams tied is exciting to watch. In the World Cup, the action completely slows down to a near halt due to both teams' desire to "play for the tie."

    This mindset completely diminishes the potential for exciting final moments in the opening round of the World Cup.

    Without ties to fall back on, and knowing a "Golden Goal" overtime is approaching, teams will keep their "win at all cost" mindset throughout the entire game INTO the closing minutes of the game, thus making the game more exciting and potentially more memorable.

Oust or Relax the Offsides Rule

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    The offsides rule almost completely eliminates the art of deception in a soccer game. Why is it the offensive player's responsibility to make sure the defender can keep track of him?

    If a striker performs a well-executed move to get behind a defender, he deserves a breakaway, not a whistle to disallow his efforts; a defender should not leave his man in the first place.

    Ousting or relaxing the offsides rule would not only open up the field, but it would also allow for more goals, as well as more exciting moments.

Back Up Penalty Shooters

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    The most anticipated point of any soccer game is the tiebreaking penalty shots. However, the distance of the shooter from the goal is far too short.

    Games shouldn’t be decided primarily on whether the goalie guesses right on which way the shooter will direct the ball. With more distance from shooter to goal, more skill will be required to seal a win.

    Soccer is the only sport where games are decided more on luck and guessing rather than skill. Why not just flip a coin for who wins?

Penalize Flopping

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    Flopping is becoming too common in the World Cup  It causes constant stoppages in the game, as well as being outright pathetic.

    Watching a player who has had his toe stepped on drop to the ground as if he had been shot in the leg not only gives soccer players a undesirably soft image, but gives the entire game a weak image too. The increase in flops needs to be addressed.

Extra Time Should Be an Exact Time, Not the Discretion of the Referee

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    Extra time is a dumb idea anyway. The timekeepers should just stop the clock until play resumes.

    However, if this feature of the game needs to be kept, it should be an exact time so the players and fans no longer have to keep guessing when the game will end.

    Imagine if in the NBA it was the ref’s call on when the game ended instead of when the clock hit triple zeros. It would eliminate the most memorable moments in basketball: buzzer beaters. Why shouldn’t soccer fans receive the same type of hype toward the final whistle?

Vuvuzela Horns

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    The vuvuzela horns really only pertain to the 2010 World Cup, but having to listen to the aforementioned horns on television caused many viewers to change the channel away from the game.

    Allowing these horns was the worst marketing move the World Cup committee could have decided on, from a television standpoint.

    Through the television, the noise created by the vuvuzela horns sounded like a constant, torturous buzzing that was near impossible to bear.

    Written by Matthew Rago