OPINION: Football’s Rules Need to be Rewritten for the People (2)

–It’s just one example where people, not the participants, need to be placed at the center of games/markets

By Mathew Carr

July 11-12, 2021 (LONDON): I’m sure I’m not the only football spectator who was frustrated the amount of defensive passing back in the European Championship.

Teams frequently passed the ball back, even to the keeper, as they seek to retain possession rather than continue to push toward their target goal.

It interrupts the flow of the game and, to me, makes for a much-less-interesting spectacle.

The sport’s rulemakers should take a leaf out of basketball’s rulebook, where an attacking team is not allowed to go backwards into their own half after entering the attacking half of the court. Simple, and effective, in keeping the game moving forward.

It forces teams to press on, rather than retreating. It would ramp up the tension and force players to be more creative and energetic in their attacks. The option to back off or wimp out is completely removed.

Spectators pay huge sums to watch these games and they are being sold short. I’m expressing my initial thoughts on this, knowing I might be missing something.

Would a rule change place too much physical pressure on players? Given the millions in salaries on offer …if they can’t hack it, there will be plenty of others with better creativity and fitness, willing to try.

Would this give yet another benefit to defenders in a game where scoring it too low? I doubt it. Currently, some teams seem to care only about retaining possession once they get even just one point in front. It can be boring. Advertisers are losing out, as well.

There are many other examples where the forgotten ordinary people need to be placed at the center of games and markets. Entitled rent seekers and others are taking the p!ss while mums, dads and kids lose out.

Here are just some incidences, in my usual frame of interest — energy and climate:

  1. Taxpayers miss out on revenue because there’s no price on pollution in about three quarters of the world.

2. People pay too much for transport because OPEC rigs the oil market (at least high oil prices are good for the climate).

3. Governments can’t be bothered dismantling fossil-fuel subsidies.

Rulemakers need to repair the rules in favor of the people.

It’s what they are being paid to do. Or, resign. Let someone else have a go — someone who wants to see all spectators — the whole of society — win out. Not just the players, managers and their rent-seeking hangers on.

England fans on the streets of London before their team was defeated

FOOTNOTE: To be sure, there was not that much annoying passing back in yesterday’s Euro 2020 final, where Italy just beat England.

The International Monetary Fund agrees things need to change. See this from yesterday: https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2021/07/11/sp071121-md-on-global-policies-and-climate-change

(Adds footnote Monday on Sunday’s result, IMF link)

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