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Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha backs introduction of 30-minute halves


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Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has come out in support of reducing the half lengths in football matches from 45 to 30 minutes.

The proposal was one of several radical ideas put forward by football's rule makers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in June, along with other alterations such as passing to yourself from a set piece and penalty goals for handling on or close to the goal-line.

But it seems that a reduction to half lengths remains one of the more popular suggestions with former Chelsea forward Gianfranco Zola and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech revealing their support for the change over the summer.

And now 46-year-old Pedro Caixinha has joined the debate, stating: “We need to change something in football to give the supporters more pleasure, and one of the ways to do that would be to have the ball in play more". 

“The last studies I read, right now for a high-intensity English Premier League game the actual time of the ball (being) in play is about 55 to 57 minutes, so with the changes it would be more.”

The Portuguese coach explained that the ability to break up play with stoppages, and so reduce the time a team has to keep out an opponent, has made football “more defensive and more physical”.

Suggested rule changes could actually mean fans see more football.

Could 60-minute matches work?

There could be something to it. You just need to look at other sports who have adopted similar methods. In Rugby Union for example, the referee will stop the clock for stoppages during international fixtures.

This method of timing is seen as being unanimously popular across Rugby and allows for two, fast-paced 40-minute half’s where the ball is almost always in play.  

Football supporters will also be getting a better deal seeing on average an extra 4 minutes of football per match and, if Caixinha’s theory is to be believed, fans will be exposed to a more attacking minded style of the beautiful game.

Many purists will be saying, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” but is that true when, for over one-third of a football match, the ball is not in play?

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