‘Naughty steps, bigger goals, kick-ins rather than throw-ins, get rid of offside, independent time-keepers and referees with headcams,’ your weird and wonderful ideas to improve the laws of football

I was going to write a column on the laws in football that need a tweak or a complete change, or even on new laws that need to be introduced.

Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 11:00 am
Referee Andy Haines shows Posh striker Ivan Toney a yellow card.

I then asked my followers on Twitter (@PTAlanSwann) for their suggestions and received so many brilliant, and occasionally bizarre, replies I’ve turned the column over to them.

My own number one wish is to see a law that entitles a team to kick off 30 seconds after they’ve conceded just to stop over-long and dull goal celebrations and the subsequent slow trudge back to the halfway line.

Your suggestions included...

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The offside law needs scrapping!

Clarity on how poor officiating is dealt with post-match. Bubble-wrapping referrees has ultimately lead to a decline in quality and without accountability is unlikely to improve. Enjoyment from game is constantly ruined by dire officiating. @Chris Hurst2

An attacker can’t score a goal with his hand but a defender can stop a goal being scored that way. Seems unfair.


Use a multi ball system and kick-ins instead of throw-ins.


Have 60 mins actual game time. Independent timekeeper stops clock whenever ball out of play.


Consistent application of the current laws before we start thinking up new ones.


Allow appeals for red card after two yellows.


Bigger goals, keepers bigger and more athletic than when size set. A 15 yard rather than 18 yard area. Also an offside zone 30 yards from goal. Would allow for more attacking football.


No offside from a free kick. No shielding the ball out of play.


Get rid of offside. Makes life so much easier and removes any stupid arguments about left shoulder being 1mm offside.


Get better referees.


For penalties, the taker has one chance to score, if its missed re-start with a goal kick. This would sort the encroachment debate out and ensure more focus on keepers staying on their line.


No break in play for substitutions which would stop teams wasting time/breaking up momentum towards the end of games.


Get headcams on refs so we can see what they are looking at.


In knock out games, penalties immediately after a draw. The winning team gets half a goal. Then they play the 30 mins of extra time, knowing due to the 0.5 goal there will be a winner at the end of the game. Also gives players who missed a penalty chance for immediate redemption.


10-minute time-out on touchline naughty step for anyone receiving yellow card.


Give an extra point for a win by four goals or more. Would make teams who are 2-0 up continue to push on, rather than defending.


Player who commits a foul has to go off when player has treatment not the player who needs treatment.


Self pass free kick like hockey. No contact within 10 yards. Stops defender gaining advantage by fouling and standing over the ball.


Enforce the six-second rule for keeper to release ball, this falling on the ground to waste time is infuriating.


Stop the synchronised delaying of free kicks. One man stands on the ball until his luck running out moves away, another one comes in. Quick free kicks are almost impossible now.