FA's push for rule change

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The Football Association is spearheading a move to allow referees who play the advantage rule to change their mind if the advantage does not materialise.

The game's international rule-making body, the International Football Association Board, is to vote on the idea at its annual meeting in Rio de Janeiro on 9 March.

The FA wants to give referees the chance to go back and award a free- kick if the team benefiting from the advantage rule subsequently lose possession. The ruling body believes it would allow more flexibility, and it could be implemented next season. An official of the game's international governing body, Fifa, said the main problem would be to decide how long referees could wait before deciding whether the team had gained an advantage.

The board will also vote on a move to allow three substitutions and a total of seven players on the bench during all official competition matches. Other proposals formally recognising that it is the linesman's role to signal offside and off-the-ball incidents. Any proposals passed will be introduced on 1 July.

Fifa will also discuss measures to increase the proportion of playing time.