The Most Annoying Thing in Football: the Throw-In

Without doubt the throw-in annoys me far more anything in the flawed, beautiful game of football.

No, it’s not the throw-in itself. It’s been in football from almost the beginning, and seems quite a fair way to restart a match from the sidelines. It is all to do with where the throw-in is taken. After picking up the ball a few yards up the pitch, and a few deliberately aborted attempts at releasing the ball (with a face suitably contorted in mock frustration, and an arm waving frantically at nothing in particular), the ball is finally thrown in from anywhere between 5 and 10 yards further up the pitch. And what’s more, no-one seems to care. Very rarely will the referee order the thrower back, and when he does the thrower only seems to step back a fraction of the illegally gained distance.

Everyone is at it. Even the crowd often helps its team by throwing the ball back to a place further up the pitch. It is just another case of the professional footballer jettisoning any thoughts of fairness, and referees so bogged down keeping a lid on the infringements, that the throw-in shuffle is largely ignored.

It would be so simple to rectify. And this is why FIFA is not fit for purpose. All its time is spent investigating itself, improving transparency, fighting institutionalized corruption etc etc, that it has no time for on-field problems. One only has to look at the instance of goal-line technology, already an accepted part of the game, which FIFA failed to promote for years, even dismissing it as unnecessary.

As I said it would be so simple to rectify, even I, sitting at home, have come up with a few simple, workable ideas.


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