Blatter ponders rule changes

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has ordered a new football task force to investigate possible new rule changes in tournaments.

Task Force Football 2014 has been set up by Fifa to look into ways of making the game more attractive by looking at the laws of the game.
The aim is to introduce any approved changes in time for the 2014 World Cup,in Brazil.

The task force was created in light of criticism surrounding the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a tournament thought to be short on excitement.
Blatter is open to a wide variety of changes including the points system and extra time.

“Its objective is to assess tournaments and the way in which the game is organised,” Blatter told the Fifa website.

“Let me give you a few examples. At the moment three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw, which is something we can discuss and decide whether it’s a good thing or not.

“Is extra-time the only option we have when a game ends in a draw? And if we stick with extra-time, how should we end games? Is it worth taking another look at the golden goal? Some people like it, some people don’t.”

The task force is made up of players and ex-players, football administrators, referees and medical experts.

Blatter hopes to make group matches in tournaments a more competitive affair, but is concerned that crowded domestic schedules are becoming problematic in countries such as England and Spain.

“The other issue is the calendar. In my view, and this is something on which (Uefa president) Michel Platini agrees, domestic championships are too long because there are too many teams and too many matches.

“Teams in leagues with 20 clubs play 38 games, on top of which they also have national cup competitions and league cups, etc.

“This also creates a conflict of interest between national teams and clubs, some of whom complain that their players come back tired or injured.
“That’s not the fault of the international calendar, however, and it’s a subject that ought to be discussed.”

After criticism of the refereeing at the last World Cup, Blatter has responded by targeting professional referees only at the 2014 tournament.
England’s Howard Webb who refereed the final was one of only a handful of professional referees in action in South Africa.

Fifa are keen to limit the high-profile mistakes which reared their head at the last tournament.

Blatter said: “We have a very clear target in this respect, and that’s to have only professional referees officiating at the 2014 World Cup. That’s a target we have to reach.

“Coaches are professional now and so are players, and there’s no reason why referees shouldn’t be either. Some people say there’s not enough money to pay them, but there always seems to be plenty in the professional leagues.” — Skysports.