At the end of February 2014, following an article by Ian Holloway in the Sunday Mirror, I sent this letter to the paper….
“I was interested to read Ian Holloway’s suggestion of Football’s law-makers taking a leaf from the Rugby book. There are many other ways to improve the flow of the game, by doing the following…
1. It’s high time 15-minute sin bins were introduced for yellow cards.
2. If a player is injured, a temporary substitute should be allowed to come on while he’s being checked (off the field).
3. The ref should be able to call ‘Time off’ so everyone knows how much time is left; and the final whistle should only be blown after the ball has gone dead [see Clive Thomas, Sweden v Brazil ’78 I think!].
4. Failure to retire ten yards at free kicks should see the ball moved ten yards further on – up to the edge of the penalty area.
5. Finally, on Mr Holloway’s suggestion of awarding a goal (like a penalty try) for a professional foul instead of resorting to a red card, I agree; and I think this happened before. Perhaps you could check? I seem to remember a Home international – from 1971 or thereabouts – at Wembley, when Martin Chivers’s header was punched off the line by a Scotland defender, and the referee awarded England a goal, quite rightly!
With the idiots at FIFA ruining – sorry, ‘running’ the game however, I am not that optimistic things will change….”
But at time of writing (1st of March) I see from Sky Sports News that FIFA are considering changes to the red & yellow card rules. Hoorah!!
Your man in the stand with the packet of tyrannosaurus rex flavoured crisps,
Dud Fivers (Soccer’s Mr Football)