Football: Fifa refuse to move goalposts

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Fifa refuse to move goalposts

World football's governing body, Fifa, meeting in Rio de Janeiro yesterday, ruled out any possibility of making goals bigger, saying reaction had been so negative that they had nipped the idea in the bud. The idea of carrying out an experiment with bigger goals was briefly discussed at a meeting of Fifa's International Association Board, the sport's rule-making body, before it was quickly ditched, according to delegates. "There has been a lot of reaction around the world to what was no more than a tentative suggestion," England's Graham Kelly said. "The reaction was such that the board felt it was inappropriate to even consider the matter in more detail." The board approved a proposed change to the advantage rule, which will allow referees who play it to stop play and award the free-kick if the advantage does not materialise. Kelly said Fifa would send out a directive stipulating the maximum time a referee could allow play to continue before going back and awarding a free-kick, and said it would be only a few seconds. Fifa's general secretary, Sepp Blatter, said the board had also decided that the linesman will be renamed the referee's assistant, partly because of an increasingly important role and partly because there is an increasing number of women linesmen. The number of substitutes allowed on the bench will be increased from five to seven but the number who can be used will stay at three. All changes will be introduced on 1 July.