A lot of things have changed in professional football in the 21st century. There has been the introduction of many technological elements in the matches to help make it more ‘fair’.
First was the introduction of goal-line technology, which was brought after the 2010 World Cup where England were denied a clear goal against Germany in the Round of 16 clashes.
With the goal-line system helping detect certain situations to check if the ball crosses the line or not, it ensured controversy like the Frank Lampard ghost goal was never repeated.
With referees getting more and more abuse with every passing year, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was introduced.
The VAR room contains a few referees to give assistance in certain situations that goes beyond the vision of the referees on the field. Normally, VAR is used to decide penalties, goals scored from an offside position and potential sending off.
But there seems to be an obsession between the decision makers in football to bring more change to help the sport ‘evolve’ with each passing year.
That’s why the major European clubs came up with the ‘Super League’ concept last year, trying to create a bonanza tournament to attract more eyes to their product.
The Super League was quickly shelved after a huge fan uproar forced most of the participating teams to withdraw. But Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus remain a part of it.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is trying his best to introduce more changes to the sport, including reducing the entire duration of a match.
Former Barcelona defender Gerard Pique seems to agree with this idea of potentially decreasing the football game’s time from 90 minutes to something below it.
The argument is that the current generation has no interest or the patience to watch one single sporting event for a duration of 90 minutes.
He said in an interview with Twitch streamer Ibai: “Teenagers don’t watch the 90 minutes of the game. They watch for 2 minutes and then go on Instagram. We need something exciting, something that attracts the teenagers and makes them stuck to the TV the whole time.”
The Spaniard had a very interesting suggestion when asked about how he would change the format of football games going forward. Pique said: “Eleven against eleven, an extension of 30 minutes. Say that every three minutes a player from each team comes out until there is a goal.
“Penalties are a buzz for me. Deciding a semi-final of a World Cup with penalties… It’s about creating that buzz. I understand that there are people who say, how am I going to shoot here and risk the future of the country, but I love it.”
These suggestions almost seem to be Americanizing the sport, as the concept of ‘a player coming out every three player’ is very similar to the substitutions in basketball. Of course, this isn’t something in which Pique or anyone else promoting it will find much support.
Football fans love the sport for what it is and have found devotion to the beautiful game due to its thrilling nature over the course of 90 minutes.
Changing it to have more halves, time-outs or such changes to raise the action would ruin the authenticity of football.
Pique has voiced his desire to run for the Barcelona President role in the future, but he can’t expect to find a lot of success if he continues to come up with such ideas.