Michel Platini former French footballing hero and now head of European football’s governing body, UEFA, has been brooding over the state of the beautiful game. As a result Platini has suggested a number of rule changes, which he feels will improve the spectacle.
Euronews reporter Ioannis Karagiorgas takes up the story: “Football has undergone a variety of changes to reach the point we are familiar with today. Michel Platini in his book ‘Parlons Football’ wants more, including the introduction of the white card.”
The white card is similar to the sin bin in rugby, once a player has been shown the card he must leave the field of play for 10 minutes.
The referee will reach for the card when players rant and rave against a decision, in other words dissent.
Sounds simple enough, but Ioannis is not so sure: “The idea may work in some leagues, but imagine the chaos in certain Mediterranean countries where protesting the refs decision is deeply ingrained in the sport.”
Good point Ioannis, any one contested decision could well lead to half a team being sin binned, the potential for farce all too apparent.
The player doth protest too much, methinks.
Give him a white card!
What other innovations has Platini got up his sleeve, Ioannis?: “Platini proposes to increase the number of substitutions from the current three to five.The assistant referees will have to keep their eyes on the ball and the shifting subs.”
The plan is to allow three to come on while the game is in progress, plus two at half-time.
Imagine 10 players warming up, stripping off, receiving instructions, think of the poor broadcasters.
Anything else for us Ioannis?: “Well the UEFA president wants the abolition of age requirements for referees. Now this proposal really is interesting.”
Dread to think how a 10-year-old would cope with a posse of irate foul-mouthed and furious footballers questioning his or her parentage.
We jest – the retirement age of referees used to be 48 in Europe, now at 45, if a ref is fit and continues to officiate correctly he can continue.
Innovation and forward thinking are to be encouraged in all walks of life no matter how quirky and controversial they first appear.