Ryan Crombie, takes a look at the new rules that FIFA has imposed on football in another of their attempts to ‘perfect’ the beautiful game, for the fifth issue of the Scottish football fanzine – FITBA.
I had tuned in for the opening match of 2016 European Championships. The cacophony of the opening ceremony had settled down, the teams were out anthems sung and Giroud and Griezmann stood over the ball for kick off. Nervous anticipation engulfed the Stade de France as the referee blew his whistle to commence Euro 2016.
Giroud knocked the ball backwards to Griezmann and he passed it back into his own half. Did you spot the error in that sentence? No? Well before Euro 2016 you had to, as the rules stated, pass the ball forward at kick off. This has changed and comes as part of some of the new rule changes FIFA applied for Euro 2016 and worldwide for the coming season. As you might not have heard much about these new “perfections” to our beautiful game, I’m going to give you the lowdown on these alterations from FIFA.
Previously the ball had to go forwards. Why? Nobody knows it’s just the way it has been since the creation of football, but no longer. The ball can now go in any direction when the referee blows his whistle at kick offs. This can see, as we saw at Euro 2016, only one player standing over the ball and passing it back to their team mates to get the game underway or restarted. This doesn’t really add anything other than simplicity. It will however, disgruntle traditionalists, who will be shifting in their seats as they see only a single player inside the centre circle at kick off. I certainly don’t fall into the latter category but it will take a while to get use to the sight of this rule change.