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SoccerHelp Ideas For Making World Cup Games More Exciting

These are just some thoughts after watching Brazil v France, England v Portugal and Germany v Argentina in the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals. I don�t claim they are original ideas.

Why make changes? I think the reason is the lack of offensive effort; not just lack of goal scoring, but the actual lack of an effort to score in some matches. It appears that a number of coaches are taking the approach of playing a very conservative, defensive game, hoping to score one goal or to win in penalty kicks. This makes for dull games. I�ve noticed that some of the earlier games were more exciting, but perhaps this is just natural due to the initial excitement. After having played 3 or 4 games, perhaps it�s just natural that the players get physically and mentally tired, or start to feel the pressure.

Ideas for increasing goal production and reducing the number of fouls that slow the game. I�m not claiming all these are good, but perhaps some are:

  1. Make the goals 6 inches taller and 9 inches wider. This should result in one or two extra goals per game. This would make the goals larger by about the width of the post and crossbar, so that shots that now hit the post or crossbar would be goals.
  2. Players who dive or fake injury should be carded (I realize this is supposed to occur, but it doesn�t happen much).
  3. Players who incite fouls should be carded. For example, a player who gets in another players face should get carded. Currently a player will get in opponent�s face and if the opponent pushes him away, the opponent gets carded.
  4. If teams fake injury as much as Portugal did versus England, players will quit kicking the ball out when a player is "injured". I like the way Portugal plays, but I don�t like the way they fall down a lot and seem to fake or exaggerate injury. They did it many times when England was counterattacking and finally the English players stopped kicking the ball out of bounds. I don�t blame them. Also, I think Christian Ronaldo baited Wayne Rooney and that Rooney was practically mugged on the play where he was red-carded. Of course, we had the benefit of watching the television replay.
  5. If a team accumulates over 15 fouls (or 17 or 20) in a game, they should lose a player who can�t be replaced.
  6. Similar to basketball, if a player accumulates over 5 fouls, he�s out of the game.
  7. Revert back to the system where cards only apply to the game in which they were given, and don�t carry forward. Two yellows and you�re out of that game and if you get a red you�re out, but can play in the next game.
  8. Do like American football and allow coaches to ask for a replay review twice per match. This would cut out the horrible mistakes that can decide a match. There are so few goals scored in soccer that one bad call can cause a team to lose. A classic example is a foul in the box that causes a penalty kick. The World Cup is far too important to have it decided by one bad call or because one team�s players were better at faking injury than the other team. It simply diminishes the sport to have matches decided that way. Soccer must do like other sports and use the available technology.

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