After watching the first round of matches in the Euro 2012 I thought that I would scribble down a few thoughts on what I think would improve this great game.
1) Eliminate Diving.
Basically a form of cheating that has crept so far into the sport that reasonable people shrug their shoulders and say, “It’s part of the game.” Part of the game? That’s like saying cancer is a part of your body. If you want to ruin a perfectly beautiful game then sit back and continue to allow this horrible behavior that has become—for some—a team strategy. Faking an injury should be punished with immediate expulsion.
2) Keep Time.
The clock in football has become an absolute joke. If you aren’t going to respect the fact that the game is divided into two, 45 minute halves then why bother with a watch? I propose that there be not a second of injury time. When the clock hits the 45 minute mark the game should be over unless the ball is sailing towards the goal. If a player is injured then he should either walk it off like an athlete or they should haul him of the pitch. The game should never stop except for penalties.
The Sweden-Ukraine match was a good example of the need for sanity in time-keeping. They tacked on three minutes of injury time at the end and then it ended up being almost five minutes. Even the injury time is a joke.
3) Off-Sides and Goals Should Be Monitored Electronically.
Period. I doubt that I have ever watched a match that didn’t have at least one horrible off-sides call. Denying a team a goal because a referee was asleep at the wheel is completely unacceptable. The human eye is incapable of watching two separate points simultaneously. On television they already accurately call off-sides electronically so it would be easy enough to implement during games.