Football / World Cup USA '94: Fifa's changes increase goals and cards

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The Independent Online
FIFA is happy that its tinkering with the laws of the game worked in the World Cup. The change in interpretation of the offside law and cracking down on the tackle from behind resulted in some impressive gains. The number of goals increased, the number of outright victories increased, draws decreased, as did victories on penalties, there were fewer 1-0 and 0-0 games, and the amount of time the ball was actually in play also increased.

Every upside has a downside, however. There was a total of 235 yellow cards, 4.5 per game; Italia '90 averaged 3.2. 'Everybody has to get used to the new rules,' Andreas Herren, of Fifa, said. 'The players are still thinking 'Let's see what's the limit'. Unfortunately some of them got away with it. I think it will settle down over the next couple of years.'

Romario won the Golden Ball award for the best player of the World Cup. The Brazilian striker, who scored five goals, finished well clear of Roberto Baggio and Hristo Stoichkov in a poll of Fifa's Technical Study Group, Fifa officials and the international media.

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