Football chiefs agree to trial Arsene Wenger’s plans for ‘kick-ins’ to make the game quicker


Is this the beginning of the end for the throw-in? Football chiefs agree to trial Arsene Wenger’s plans for ‘kick-ins’ to make the game ‘more spectacular and quicker’ because throws ‘waste time’… so was he scarred by Rory Delap all those years ago?!

  • Football’s lawmakers IFAB agreed to trial kick-ins instead of throw-ins today
  • The idea was first put forward by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
  • IFAB looking for ways to reduce time-wasting and willconsider other proposals 

Football’s lawmakers have agreed to test kick-ins as a replacement for throw-ins to speed up the game.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced the rule change would be tested following discussions at the 136th Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board, today.

Infantino said proposals were in place to test kick ins, first suggested in a raft of potential reforms put forward by Arsene Wenger in 2020.

In his role at FIFA Arsene Wenger has set out to radically change football’s old rules 

The likes of Rory Delap's legendary long throws, which caused havoc during his time at Stoke, might not be needed any longer if Wenger is able to push through his new rules

The likes of Rory Delap’s legendary long throws, which caused havoc during his time at Stoke, might not be needed any longer if Wenger is able to push through his new rules

The former Arsenal manager is now FIFA’s Chief Head of Global Football Development and driving rule changes in the game.

The legendary Gunners’ boss, who moulded their ‘Invincibles’ of 2004, believes it is actually a disadvantage to the attacking team to obtain a throw-in late in the game.

‘I would like to change the throw-in rule: five minutes before the end, a throw-in for you should be an advantage, but in these situations you are facing 10 outfield players in play, whilst you only have nine,’ Wenger told L’Equipe in 2020.

One of Wenger's most radical proposal comes in the form of replacing throw-ins with kick-ins

One of Wenger’s most radical proposal comes in the form of replacing throw-ins with kick-ins

‘Stats show that in eight out of 10 of those throw-in situations, you lose the ball. In your half of the pitch, you should have the possibility to take a kick instead.’ 

Throw ins have also been identified as an area of the game which can be used to waste time, but in addition, the development of long throw specialists, who may cross the pitch in order to launch the ball into the penalty area can add to the delay.

Rory Delap was the archetypal long-throw specialist, perfecting the skill for Stoke City in the Premier League between 2008 and 2013.

The development of long-throw specialists in the modern game has slowed play down

The development of long-throw specialists in the modern game has slowed play down

Delap ruffled Wenger’s feathers with his huge throw when they faced each other in the top flight, starting in the 2008-09 season, after Stoke had been promoted to the Premier League.

Arsenal dominated the game with their slick passing, only to be undone by two goals stemming from Delap’s gargantuan throws. Stoke won the match 2-1. 

‘It is a little bit of an unfair advantage,’ said Wenger after the match. ‘He is using a strength that is usually not a strength in football.’ 

Today, at the IFAB meeting in Doha, Infantino confirmed kick-ins would now be examined alongside a number of other initiatives.

‘Proposals were made to test kick-ins,’ said the FIFA president. ‘While we may be a bit sceptical on some of these measures but IFAB is open to look into any proposal that is made, if some proposals are there to help the game, we will not know it before we look into it, so we will look into these proposals, as well.’

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