Fifa plan bigger goals

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Fifa is proposing to enlarge the size of goals to make football a more attractive sport, writes Catherine Riley. Sepp Blatter, the general secretary of the game's world governing body, revealed to the German magazine Stern that plans were in already in motion to make the changes.

"The guardians of the rules are in agreement to lengthen the goals by the diameter of two balls, around 50cm, and to increase the height by the diameter of one ball," he explained.

Blatter said Fifa's international board was considering the plan and would reach a decision in March, which would be followed by a test period. The changes would not be introduced for the 1998 World Cup.

The future of basketball-style time-outs, already being tested, looks uncertain. "Footballers are so conservative," Blatter said. "The mood in favour of time-outs is currently under 50 per cent."

Blatter said the World Cup would be marked by one change, however. "We will certainly have better-trained, younger, faster and fitter referees," he promised.