As football fans we occasionally hear of what the International Football Association Board is up to, most recently it’s been the consistent changes to the handball law. Those changes continue to confuse players and supporters alike, highlighted by Chelsea’s first goal in their recent Champions league match with Juventus. IFAB continues to make changes to laws to justify their existence but today according to the Daily Mail have taken it to an entirely new level.
They’re reporting that discussions will happen this week to extend the traditional half-time from 15 minutes to 25 minutes so “Super Bowl”style entertainment can be at halftime. Now we all know this is just one big cash grab, nothing more nothing less.
I have been to countless NBA games where they have this type of entertainment though at a smaller level and for the person attending live it is a waste of time. Most people at sporting events, football matches included are not in their seats during halftime. IFAB’s goal here is to replicate what the NFL produces each year, which is a sponsored halftime show with a marquee performer. I have watched the last 30 Super Bowls and only a few of these performances I can actually remember. First, one is Janet Jackson’s for obvious reasons and the other recent one is the weeknd’s because it became a wandering meme online. You have had some of the biggest rock and pop artists on the planet and almost nothing memorable comes from it. Its clear IFAB is just looking for a $ windfall along with twitter applause to have these events trend online.
Now I am sure the plan is to have this at domestic cup finals, Champions and Europa league finals to start but would the plan be to extend this to almost every match? CONMEBOL seems to be the governing body attempting to drive this change. I cannot see players being supportive of this at all. They already between club and country play too many matches and with increased inactivity during halftime, the likelihood of injuries may increase. I have only attended two European matches in my life but personally found the banter and supporters chanting more entertaining than any half-time show. We attend or watch matches for the 22 on the pitch, the drama, passion and intrigue everything surrounding the match produces. This for me is a step in the wrong direction and takes away from football matches.
If we surveyed 100 football fans across the globe with the simple question, What is IFAB good for, I believe the answer would be absolutely nothing. This initiative is just another example of that.