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Trials To Shorten Football Matches To 60 Minutes Could Start Later This Month

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Trials To Shorten Football Matches To 60 Minutes Could Start Later This Month

Trials to shorten football matches to 60 minutes could begin as early as this month.

According to i, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) wants to trial the format in the U23 Revelation Cup.

Halves would be reduced to 30 minutes, with the clock only running while the ball is in play - a similar system to what is currently used in rugby.

There are plans to trial the format in Portugal's U23 Revelation Cup (Image: PA)
There are plans to trial the format in Portugal's U23 Revelation Cup (Image: PA)
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For matches to be considered official trials they need to gain approval from the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which is responsible for controlling the laws of football.

IFAB have told i that it has not yet discussed the proposals or given official approval for the trials.

But if they are eventually given the green light, the FPF is set to commission a university to analyse the data and provide a detailed report on their findings.

The report will take into account the views of officials, coaches, players and fans who are involved in the matches.

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FIFA are reportedly considering 100-minute matches at the World Cup (Image: PA)
FIFA are reportedly considering 100-minute matches at the World Cup (Image: PA)

It comes amid reports FIFA are considering extending matches to 100 minutes at the Qatar World Cup, in an effort to increase the amount of time the ball is in play during games.

The CIES Football Observatory revealed in February that on average the ball was in play during games in 36 leagues across Europe for just under 60 minutes, in matches analysed since the 2018-19 season.

On average, the ball is in play for just 60 minutes and 59 seconds in Premier League games, placing it ninth on the list of the 36 leagues studied.

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The Dutch Eredivisie was top with an average time of 63 minutes and 21 seconds, while the German second division, the Bundesliga 2, was bottom with 58 minutes and 46 seconds.

In an average Premier League match, the ball is in play for just over an hour (Image: PA)
In an average Premier League match, the ball is in play for just over an hour (Image: PA)

In 2017, IFAB outlined a number of proposed changes to the rules of the game in a new strategy document titled 'Play Fair!', which included the idea of 30-minute halves.

"Many people are very frustrated that a typical 90-minute match has fewer than 60 minutes of effective (actual) playing time (EPT) i.e. when the ball is in play," IFAB said in the document.

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"The strategy proposes measures to reduce time-wasting and 'speed up' the game."

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: FIFA, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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