FIFA to discuss changes in goalkeeping rules

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 February, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 February, 1997, 12:00am

SOCCER'S world governing body, FIFA, plans to limit the time goalkeepers have to get the ball back into play but make it legal for them to move on the line before a penalty.

FIFA general-secretary Sepp Blatter said that the governing body would discuss the changes to the rules at a meeting on March 1.

'I have nothing against goalkeepers. Quite the opposite. They have it hard enough. But FIFA wants to stop them getting away with wasting so much time,' Blatter wrote in a column for the German football magazine Kicker.

'Too often you notice a goalkeeper because he is standing still rather than moving.

'He catches the ball, strokes it, holds it tightly, waves at all the other players that they should leave him alone with his private property, lets a few more seconds tick by, looks around a bit more and then he finally gets rid of it,' he said. 'In all that, 10 seconds, sometimes 20 seconds, are lost.' Blatter said FIFA was thinking of limiting goalkeepers to five seconds.

In return 'keepers will now be allowed to move on the line before a penalty kick which is presently against the rules but very common.

Another issue to be discussed will be gamesmanship during the taking of penalty kicks.

Some FIFA delegates believe that certain movements, occasionally employed by the former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar among others, are against the spirit of sportsmanship and the game.