The international rule-making body of football, IFAB, is considering an extension of the 15-minute half-time break to 25 minutes. A meeting is due to be held online today, which will be presided by FIFA. The notion will be pitched and discussed at length in the virtual meeting.
The last time FIFA tried extending the halftime break to 20 minutes in 2009, things didn’t turn out so well for them. The idea has been pitched by the South American governing body of football, CONMEBOL. They have said that extending the break will allow football to introduce entertainment-breaks much like the Superbowl in America.
Their sporting argument states that coaches will be able to better prepare their players for the second period. However, it will also increase the risk of injuries in the sport due to the high amount of inactivity that players will have to go through.
There is an explicit law (Law 7) that states that players are entitled to 15 minutes of a break between two halves. The agenda of the meeting doesn’t state how this law will be discussed in the meeting.
The idea from CONMEBOL seems to have a primarily money-driven motive. The entertainment show at half-time would increase the revenue from broadcasting, as well as ad revenues. It would also boost the ticket prices, but potentially at the cost of the well-being of the players.
It now remains to be seen how the meeting addresses the two sides of the notion and whether or not it will come to pass.