Show plans to increase half-time at football matches the red card

The news that the international rule-makers of football, IFAB, are considering extending the sport's half-time break - from 15 to 25 minutes - makes our hearts sink.

Ryan Porteous of Hibs received a straight red card for a tackle on Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo during Hibs' 2-1 loss at Ibrox in September. Plans to increase the half-time break to 25 minutes should be given similar treatment. PIC: SNS.

Some may welcome the extra time to stand in line for a cup of tea - or to use other facilities - if they are at a game. Others, perhaps gluttons for punishment will think it good that broadcasters will have more time to fill with analysis at half time.

But we know that airtime will be used for yet more betting advertisements, and the queues for the half-time cuppa will remain just as long.

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Not that fans' comfort, at the game, or at home, has anything to do with the idea. Instead, the proposal is intended to ease the introduction of the "Super Bowl-style entertainment show" to fill the extended half-time break, presumably for the benefit of television audiences.

Rather than a little forced chat over the birthday messages on the loudspeakers, fans will be forced to endure a pop star miming for the cameras against a backdrop of hastily-positioned lighting rigs and flamethrowers.

The motivation for all this, it is suggested, is money: it is believed bigger matches, such as cup finals, would be enhanced by the spectacle.

Yet players may not welcome extended period of inactivity, which some in the game warn will result in more injuries. Players themselves may also realise that, when losing heavily, being trapped in the changing rooms for another 10 minutes with their furious manager is bad news, too.

All of which leads us to hope football's ruling authorities will give the plan a firm, straight, red card.

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