Will the throw-in, which has been part of football for ages, soon disappear from the game? Apparently, FIFA will soon test the idea of using a kick-in instead of a throw-in. The FIFA President is cautious, a prominent advocate has the statistics on his side.
The throw-in as we know it today has existed in football since 1882. But this monument to the rules of the most popular game in the world is apparently threatened with trouble, in any case its abolition is to be officially tested at least soon: The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is playing actually with this unusual thought. The annual general meeting of the body responsible for changing football gave the go-ahead for a pilot project. This is reported by "Sky Sport". Test balloon is the second Dutch league. There it should be tested whether kick-ins make the game more attractive. The idea behind it: The game should be accelerated as soon as the ball was out of bounds.
Further measures are planned, such as testing a "fairer calculation of the playing time," according to a statement from the IFAB. A stopwatch can be used to stop time when the ball is not in play. English data shows that net playing time in the 2021/22 Premier League season averaged just 55 minutes and three seconds.
"Other attempts at testing such as explaining certain refereeing decisions during a game, a possible fairer calculation of playing time and kick-ins were discussed. It was made clear at the AGM that these and all other tests are subject to approval and will be overseen by the IFAB and FIFA." it in a statement from the IFAB.
At least as far as the kick-in is concerned, there are already prominent advocates. One of them is Arsene Wenger, FIFA's head of global football development. The former Arsenal coach had spoken out in favor of a field trial a year ago. "There are currently two big time wasters: throw-ins and free-kicks. The goal is to make the game more spectacular and faster," said the Frenchman. "Perhaps kick-ins with a time limit of five seconds, for example, could help."
Wenger explained his idea for a new throw-in rule to "L'Équipe": "Five minutes before the end, a throw-in should be an advantage for you, but in these situations you have ten field players in play while you only have nine." According to Wenger, statistics show that "in eight out of 10 of these throw-in situations you lose the ball."
English football legend Gary Lineker, now a TV expert, is skeptical about Wenger's idea: "I'm not sure if that's a good idea. It will slow down the game because every throw-in in the opponent's half becomes a free kick." , the former international tweeted. "If you want to change something, you should allow players to take quick free-kicks, including for themselves. Punish those who foul, not those who are fouled. That would also speed up the game."
FIFA President Gianni Infantino cautiously commented on the upcoming field trials: "While we are a bit skeptical about some measures, the IFAB is open to any suggestions that are made. If there are suggestions that help the game, we have no way of knowing before we have examined them, so we will also examine these proposals."