Tue, Feb 24, 2009 - Page 19 News List

FA to oppose plan to add extra five minutes to halftime

AFP , LONDON

The Football Association says it plans to oppose forecast plans to extend the halftime interval from 15 minutes to 20 minutes, a proposal that has been slammed by fans.

The idea, which is backed by FIFA chief executive Sepp Blatter with an eye on extra advertising revenue, is due to be raised at an International Football Association Board meeting in Belfast next week.

Senior figures within the English game feel it takes scant regard of supporters’ needs, particularly in countries with less temperate climates, such as the UK.

And the idea of fans being forced to spend an extra five minutes waiting for the second half to start is not one that appeals.

Publicly, the FA are steering a delicate political path, but privately it is thought they will lobby hard to retain the status quo.

“It is very unlikely we will be supporting it in the discussions next week,” an FA spokesman said. “We are mindful of supporters’ views and also our clubs in the Premier League.”

The stance will be welcomed by Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore who has also spoken out against the move.

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