France, champion of the Football World Cup Russia 2018 – Photo: wikipedia

Number one in a new regular column

How to put football back on its feet

World football body FIFA has got it all wrong, again, and is short-changing fans by floating the suggestion that the World Cup be held every two years, not four. Fools! The cup should be held every single year with all 210 soccer-playing countries taking part, not just a skimpy 32 finalists. Can’t the “people who run football” see what real fans want?!

Similarly, UEFA, the European governing body, needs to stop looking so inward and also run the EURO championships every year with all 55 member associations competing, from Albania to Wales, not just the current situation where we will have a measly 24 countries taking part in the delayed EURO 2020 this June-July.

Players can take the strain, because games can be spread out over the currently (almost) dormant July-August few weeks when they go on incosiderate silly family holidays instead of playing and entertaining the fans. And no need for qualifiers! The Nations Cup can continue, though here at The Budapest Times we haven’t yet quite managed to work out what the Nations Cup is and how it works.

And we can have a Super-Duper Cup each year in which the World Cup champion plays the EURO champion. This could be a best-of-five matches situation, and if it goes well could be expanded to best-of-nine in a year or two. All other Super Cup, Special Cup, Sponsored Cup competitions should continue as per normal.

Here are some other suggestions to push football to the limit and bring it into the next century:

Tattoos: all players to have fully covered arms, legs and necks.

Sackings: any manager booted out more than three times in a season to be barred from the game. Any manager who says “We will learn from this 10-0 defeat” to be taken out and shot, plus barred from the game.

Acting lessons: all players to receive to improve tumbling, rolling in “agony”, etc.

Tunnels: players must not fraternise before games. Snarling and jostling must replace laughs and hugs.

Running tracks: all pitches surrounded by these, thus pushing fans 50 metres from the expensive action, to be banned.

Wagging a finger left to right, right to left at the referee: instant red card.

False” 9: explanation needed. What is it? Don’t mystify the fans. After, all we don’t have “false goalkeepers”. Or do we?

Managerial spitting: banned in the technical area. Managers don’t run, why spit?

Artifical crowd noise: very valuable in the pandemic, must be continued in full stadiums.

Nationalities: clubs should no longer be referred to as “English” or “Spanish” or wherever unless they have at least one player of their own nationality.

Praying: ban it. God doesn’t have time to deal with football matches (to His/Her loss).

Raised arms at corners: yes, we can see you are about to kick the ball over. Or is it a carefully worked out secret sign? Probably not. Unnecessary. Ban it.

Walls: any player who turns his back when a free kick is taken should receive a three-game ban. Hands banned from covering genitals.

Rotating pitchside advertising: The most useless invention known to Man, but don’t tell advertisers this. All grounds must have it.

Viktor Orbán: immediate election to FIFA and UEFA boards with free world travel, first-class hotels, lady “secretary” for services to stadium building and heading the only country to risk full stadiums at EURO 2020 during a pandemic that has claimed 3 billion lives worldwide. Trump/Modi/Bolsonaro Award for Advanced Hubris.

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