Football's Most Pointless Rules as Erling Haaland, Bruno Fernandes Call for Changes

Football's Most Pointless Rules as Erling Haaland, Bruno Fernandes Call for Changes

Martin Moses
updated at March 27, 2024 at 6:55 AM
In this article:
Erling Braut Haaland logo
Manchester City logoFNorway logo
Amad Diallo logo
A. Diallo
Manchester United logo-Ivory Coast logo
Mateo Kovačić logo
M. Kovačić
Manchester City logoMCroatia logo
  • Erling Haaland has admitted that the throw-in rules don't make him happy
  • He wants the ball to be thrown whichever way, provided it's with two hands
  • Sports Brief takes a look at some other rules that lawmakers need to look at

Erling Haaland recently opened up on some of the football rules he would have changed if he had the powers to do so.

The Manchester City striker, who is considered one of the best players in the world in his position, has risen quickly through the ranks over the years.

Erling Haaland, Manchester City, why players get booked for taking off shirts, use of VAR, pointless rules in football
Erling Haaland in action for Manchester City against Newcastle United on March 16. Photo by James Gill - Danehouse.
Source: Getty Images

He narrowly missed out on a couple of individual awards last year, including the Ballon d'Or, despite leading his side to a treble in his first season in England.

The Norwegian took issue with why there was a specific way of throwing the ball, as reported by Sports Brief.

"What annoys me is throw-ins. If you throw it this way or that way, it doesn't matter. Just make sure you have two hands on the ball."

Pointless rules in football

In light of these comments, Sports Brief has dug up some other rules that need a re-look soon. Some might not be rules per se, but rather just how the game is conducted.

1. Getting booked for removing a shirt

A quick social media check after Amad Diallo was booked for taking off his shirt against Liverpool on March 17 showed how many fans were against the rule.

The teenager had just scored a last-minute stoppage goal against his club's biggest rivals but had to be sent off for a second yellow card offence.

It is a rule that has been in force since 2004, and despite the resentment around it, there's actually an explanation as to why players get booked for taking off their shirts, as Sports Brief previously reported.

Under section 12 of the IFAB Laws on Fouls and Misconduct, a player taking off their shirt has been placed in the same category as provocative and excessive celebrations.

2. Goalkeepers having one foot on line during penalty kicks

A penalty kick is always seen as the surest way to score. Play Today reports that there's always a 75% chance a player will score a penalty, which, in essence, puts the goalkeeper at a disadvantage.

To make matters worse, the goalkeeper must put one foot behind the line before the penalty is taken. If both feet are in front of the line and he saves it, the penalty will be retaken and at times, the goalkeeper gets booked.

Why is it unfair? If the goalkeeper is barred from stepping in front of the line, then the taker must also be barred from feigning a shot.

A taker might fake a shot to get the keeper off his line before taking it. The goalkeeper reacted to the first shot, although faked, and thus punishing him with a retake doesn't make sense.

Opponent scoring from penalty rebound

Still on penalties, if a goalkeeper saves an in-game penalty, any opponent can pounce on the rebound and score.

As already explained, the odds against the goalkeeper in a penalty situation are already too high.

Having him save a penalty only for the rebound to be tapped in without defence cover looks unfair, no?

3. Partial VAR usage

The implementation of the technology still has a fair number of haters. While many agree it was a timely addition to help officials reach correct verdicts, its application has left much to be desired.

For instance, VAR doesn't intervene in issuing second yellow cards when a player gets sent off.

For such a huge decision, it won't cost the referee to quickly refer to the monitor to ascertain whether both yellow cards were deserved.

Chelsea fans still feel aggrieved after Anthony Taylor sent off Mateo Kovacic for two 'flimsy' yellow cards during the 2020 FA Cup final.

Other things VAR, or rather goal-line technology, don't check, but we think they ought to include corner kicks, free kicks and where the free kicks are taken.

There will be concerns about how lengthy such procedures could be, but these crucial moments can alter a game's direction.

4. No added time, stop the clock

An analytical piece by Opta last year discovered that the ball was only in play for 54 minutes and 46 seconds in the 2022/2023 Premier League season. This presents 64% of the entire 90 minutes.

To address this, tougher sanctions for deliberately delaying play were introduced.

But despite this, there are still concerns about why the referee would only add nine or six minutes at the end of a game where the ball was out for more than 30 minutes.

Why not stop the clock, then? In the NBA, the clock stops when the ball is out of play, a free shot is being made and during time-outs. The clock is only restarted when a player touches the ball.

If this were to be introduced in football, it would remove the doubts that a referee favoured a team by adding a certain number of minutes.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)