Football: Replace the 90 Minutes Official Time by 65 Minutes of Actual Playing Time

Which football supporter has not been irritated by it? Two football teams play each other. The one team (in my memory often an Italian one) is happy with the current score, the other is not. The former team tries to survive the rest of the game without conceding a goal. An effective strategy: don’t play at all. This is referred to as the practice of  running out the clock, stonewalling, killing the clock, stalling, time-wasting, or sandbagging. Continue reading

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My First Holland-Germany

Every Dutch child, especially when it is a boy, is raised learning that the most important events in life matches are the football matches against our eastern neighbours, the Germans. For 90 minutes and a bit more, nothing else matters. The rivalry is intense. Historically, the tension has been building, with the Germans winning the European title in 1972, 1980, and 1996, and the World title in 1954, 1974, and 1990. This may already be a source of envy, given that Holland is the only team to have been in 3 World Cup finals but has never won. The German victory in 1974 was especially bitter. We had impressed the world with our Total Football, which still inspires teams like FC Barcelona with their tiki-taka playing style, had star players like Van Hanegem, Cruijff, and Neeskens – but it wasn’t enough. Continue reading