Thierry Henry has come up with ways to improve football.
In an interview with CBS Sports, he proposed five measures to shake up the game:
An additional point for the team that scores at least three goals in
a match, regardless of the outcome.
Microphones on referees. "They should come out after the game and
talk to the press. And also wear a microphone. I want to hear what
they say because sometimes they're not as polite as I was. Please
explain your mistakes or how great you were. We want to talk to you
like people talk to footballers."
Harsh punishment for time-wasting. "When someone refuses to play,
wastes time kicks the ball out, the referee can award a penalty from
25 yards out, and you can choose any point."
Temporary substitutions are when doctors assist an injured player so
their team doesn't have to play with ten players temporarily.
- Something strange: sporting directors should personally meet with
newcomers. "You can't buy a house without visiting it. I've seen a
lot of players that no one knew anything about, whether they'd adapt
These are just proposals at the moment. Henry is not part of the FIFA committees that make decisions. It needs to be clarified how he wants to promote his ideas.
These are not the first signs of futurism in world football. Below, we will summarize the key proposals, some of which have even been tested.
Combatting simulation and disrespect for referees
In January 2023, German referee Patrick Ittrich gave an interview to FAZ.net in which he presented his football rules.
A tactical foul in the center of the field should result in a
free-kick from 17 meters away from the goal (the edge of the penalty
If a player rolls around on the ground and calls for a doctor,
medical staff should be called, and the player should be made to
leave the field for a 3-minute examination.
If a player insults the referee, he should be sent off the field to
cool down for 10 minutes.
- To combat situations where players surround the referee after his
decisions, red cards can be calmly given to players for excessive
And in October 2016, one of the most unusual innovations in football became a reality: in the Italian Serie B, a player from "Vicenza" received a green card - he informed the referee that he had mistakenly awarded a corner to "Virtus": none of the opponents had touched the ball.
However, in reality, the referee did not show anything. The green card is a virtual reward for honesty, integrity, and courage. It was introduced before the 2016/17 season only in Serie B, as football officials wanted to revive the league's image.
Since then, nothing has been heard about green cards.
Wenger's ideas: new offside rule, throw-ins with feet, and a new calendar
One of the principal reformers is the head of FIFA's Department for global football development, Arsene Wenger. He made a considerable number of proposals.
In February 2020, Wenger proposed changing the rule for determining
an offside position: "There is an opportunity to change this rule so
as not to say that a part of the player's nose is offside. Offside
will not be called if the attacking player's body part that can score
a goal is in line with the defender, even if other parts of the
attacking player's body are ahead. This will solve the problem, and
there will be no more decisions about millimeter offside positions."
Do you know those situations during corner kicks when the ball goes
out of bounds? Currently, referees award a goal kick, but Arsene
Wenger has proposed leaving the ball in play: "We could allow those
kinds of corners. It would create new scoring opportunities," Wenger
Another innovation from the Frenchman is allowing one player to take
a free kick. Not shooting or passing to another player, but
personally dribbling and creating a short moment for themselves in a
- Wenger also addressed throw-ins separately. Top teams already have
coaches for throw-ins from the sideline, and Wenger believes that the
procedure itself plays into the hands of defenders:
"I would also like to change the rule for throw-ins after the ball goes out of bounds. Five minutes before the end of the match, a throw-in should give an advantage, but in reality, in such a situation, the throwing team has nine players on the field, and the opponent has ten.
Statistics show that the team loses the ball in 80% of such situations. We must allow players to kick the ball on their half of the field."
System change: fewer windows for national teams
In May 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging (remember that?), Arsene Wenger answered 10 questions about the future of football. He suggested canceling the winter transfer window, a salary cap, creating a solidarity fund, and the same referee press conferences.
Wenger also talked about holding the World Cup every two years and reducing the World Cup qualifying matches to seven instead of the current ten while reducing the number of days for their conduct from 50 to 28:
"I advocate for one break for national team matches, a maximum of two, instead of the current five. Let the teams gather in October, play seven qualifying matches in a month, and then hold the final tournament in June.
This will lead to fewer travels for players, more clarity, and a decrease in the number of injuries. We want to reduce the number of matches; it is essential so that we can see the condition of the players.
We guarantee a period of rest after each tournament. Imagine this: the 2026 World Cup in the USA, Mexico, and Canada; 2027 - the European Championship and other continental games; the next World Cup in 2028.
More knockout matches and fewer qualifying matches. That's what the fans want."