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Thread: The Laws of the Game - What Would You Change About Football/Soccer Rules?

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    The Laws of the Game - What Would You Change About Football/Soccer Rules?

    Moderator's Note: Split from here

    Quote Originally Posted by Dropkick View Post
    As for the goal tha wasn't, I think the English were not blaming the lineman but the head of Fifa for rejecting goal line/ video replay technology. They see it working great in rugby so its a bit stupid not to have it in soccer.
    In some cases, I can see how football reffereeing also can benefit from video technology, but take the England-Germany match for example; after the German goalie picked up the ball after it bounced off the crossbar - what if he then kicked out the ball which gave Germany the first goal that Klose scored?

    Should the refferee immidately after the "crossbar situation" put the game on a halt untill he have viewed the video replay, or should he wait untill the first natural stop in the game (for example the next throw-in our free kick) before he views the replay? If the first, he can possibly take away a good possibility of conter-attack (and in this case - a goal). And if the latter, should he then anulle Germany's counter-attacking goal?
    Last edited by Sigurd; Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 at 01:27 AM. Reason: Added in split note.

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    Senior Member Dropkick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blóð ok Andi View Post
    In some cases, I can see how football reffereeing also can benefit from video technology, but take the England-Germany match for example; after the German goalie picked up the ball after it bounced off the crossbar - what if he then kicked out the ball which gave Germany the first goal that Klose scored?

    Should the refferee immidately after the "crossbar situation" put the game on a halt untill he have viewed the video replay, or should he wait untill the first natural stop in the game (for example the next throw-in our free kick) before he views the replay? If the first, he can possibly take away a good possibility of conter-attack (and in this case - a goal). And if the latter, should he then anulle Germany's counter-attacking goal?
    He should wait until the next stoppage in play. In your example, if Germany scored on the counter attack then that it would be rightfully disallowed if the video ref saw the ball cross the line. If they saw the ball didn't cross the line then Germany would be awarded the goal.

    Everything else like yellow cards etc should stay as normal.

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    Here are my suggestions to reform the soccer rules:

    1. In the case of a corner ball, let the benefited team choose whether it wishes to carry out the corner kick or desires to accumulate it (which would lead to a goal-kick by the opponent). Three accumulated and not executed corner balls would reward the team with a penalty kick. This could be a traditional penalty kick or a penalty, as performed in ice hockey.

    2. Replace the throw-in with a kick-in.

    3. Waive the offside rule completely. If the defenders can't cover the opposing forwards, tough luck.

    This would lead to much more interesting and higher-scoring games. In addition, teams which dominate the match are more likely to be rewarded with factual goals.

    I also don't see a reason why referees shouldn't be allowed to review video footage. As today's match Germany vs. England demonstrated again, it's actually absolutely outdated not to permit them to access video recordings. At least in all international and premiership games, official video cameras should be mounted at predefined spots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorburn View Post
    1. In the case of a corner ball, let the benefited team choose whether it wishes to carry out the corner kick or desires to accumulate it (which would lead to a goal-kick by the opponent). Three accumulated and not executed corner balls would reward the team with a penalty kick. This could be a traditional penalty kick or a penalty, as performed in ice hockey.
    You put a lot of stress on the shoulders of the defenders here. I can see why that could be more exciting, yet I'm not for it, for reasons I'll explain below.

    It's also the kind of radical innovation the FIFA stays far away from, it would never stand for it. Minimalistic changes once every decade, yes, other than that, the FIFA is like the Roman Catholic Church of football.

    2. Replace the throw-in with a kick-in.
    That's what happens in Futsal (indoor football), very understandable in this kind of setting. I'm conservative in these matters, I'm not looking forward to the prospect of teams being able to make a 'corner' out of most balls that go beyond the chalk lines. The idea also favors a particular kind of player - tall and strong - and not the quick or the dribbling types. A player like Messi would lose his significance for a large part of the game.

    3. Waive the offside rule completely. If the defenders can't cover the opposing forwards, tough luck.
    No! No! Don't mess with the offside rule TB, there's no alternative for it. You'd actually kill the game by taking it away. I'm not sure if you ever played a football game with a referee, and with professional rules, on a real pitch, perhaps you have ... the pitch is too big to allow an attacker to stay at the opponent's target, walking around, waiting for a pass. It would make life to easy on the attackers of every team, it would be easier for them to score goals, and in response, coaches would rethink the concept of 'defense', they would (have to) place all their defenders in their own penalty area to deal with the long balls from the other defenders. Doth the defensive midfielders and the attacking would retreat, and play 'lower', just in front of the defense. It would result in the opposite of what you envision, I'm afraid.

    Every time the FIFA does a rule change to favor the offensive teams - like the 'Golden goal' rule (now long dead and gone) - it results in a more compact, closed game - with two teams who are afraid to lose.

    This would lead to much more interesting and higher-scoring games. In addition, teams which dominate the match are more likely to be rewarded with factual goals.
    Yes, but football is as much about defending as it is about attacking, in countries like Argentina or Italy they don't even care about an attractive or offensive game, as long as the results are positive. Defending is an art by itself, some clubs, some national teams are experts at it - some coaches have attached their name to a particular kind of defensive system. At the same time it are these teams who would actually benefit from taking away the offside rule, 'cause now they don't need to have a midfield anymore ... 8 de facto defenders who launch long balls at two attackers ... the game would lose a lot of it charm and flavor. Some of the best footballers of the world will be worthless in this concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorburn
    I also don't see a reason why referees shouldn't be allowed to review video footage.
    Yes, it's scandalous that the world's biggest sport doesn't make use of modern technology, although everybody would welcome it. Everybody except the old guard, with Sepp Blatter as its perfect exponent, of course.

    The only other association Blatter was a member of before he became involved with FIFA, was the World Society of Friends of Suspenders, an organisation who tried to stop women replacing suspender belts with pantyhose, in the 1970s. So go figure.
    “Individuals trapped in a dying culture live in a twilight world. They embrace death through infertility, concupiscence, and war. A dog will crawl into a hole to die. The members of sick cultures do not do anything quite so dramatic, but they cease to have children, dull their senses with alcohol and drugs, become despondent, and too frequently do away with themselves. Or they make war on the perceived source of their humiliation.”
    — David P. Goldman, as quoted by Jack Donovan in The Way of Men.

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    I don't like to counter-argue the great Thorburn, because it is usually futile and impossible because he tends to find the better arguments. But this is football, the best invention since sliced bread (the three things better than football: cheese, beer and women were invented before silced bread), so I cannot abstain therefrom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorburn View Post
    1. In the case of a corner ball, let the benefited team choose whether it wishes to carry out the corner kick or desires to accumulate it (which would lead to a goal-kick by the opponent). Three accumulated and not executed corner balls would reward the team with a penalty kick.
    Interesting thought, and I actually quite like the idea. It would lead to an increased pressure on the defending team to play the ball into the side-out rather than the goalline-out. It would typically mean that each game would at least two penalties which could add more of a dramatic element, defensive battles like Italy vs. Greece would become interesting again.

    2. Replace the throw-in with a kick-in.
    I can see the point, however it provides for one major problem: Currently it is not legal under the laws of the game to score from a throw-in, unless an outfield player or the goalkeeper touch the ball beforehand. Since this would now be possible, any kick-in between 15 and 30 metres away from the opposing goal would be a de-facto free-kick, which IMO shouldn't be awarded against a team which bravely manages to clear an impossible ball.

    The other problem stems from the fact that there applies no offside-rule to balls from throw-ins ... this could be a little dangerous with kick-ins if left unaltered. A kick-in would be such a ridiculous advantage that you could position 9 players between the defenders and the goalkeepers, and pick one to score from the kick-in.

    3. Waive the offside rule completely. If the defenders can't cover the opposing forwards, tough luck.
    This one, I must disagree on strongly. As a veteran of the Germanic world's worst football fields in my year-long function as school goalkeeper: Nothing more annoying than four strikers that lurk around your six-yard-box just to wait for the ball, simply because the offside rule isn't being applied.

    The offside rule has its merits, however they should get away from the difficult-to-understand current standard, and return to pre-2002 standards, with active and passive offside. No "he is offside because he tried to become active" and no "damn, did this constitute a new game situation?"

    On another note: I've heard people scream that Klose was offside yesterday, but that is impossible, because no offside rule applies from goal-kicks, corner-kicks and throw-ins.

    This would lead to much more interesting and higher-scoring games. In addition, teams which dominate the match are more likely to be rewarded with factual goals.
    Yes, but high-scoring games aren't always more interesting. I'm a great fan of highly-offensive football and much enjoyed watching the 2008-09 Austrian season even though it was carried out without my team (took till this summer to be promoted again ), where you had strange results like 6:5, 7:3, 7:2, 4:4, 8:1,...; but when this becomes much more regular then it isn't more interesting really.

    I've been fervently watching handball games, and seem to recall hearing that handball up until the 90s used to be highly defensive. So the only scoreline difference you have is that perhaps then a team would win the game 9:8 or perhaps 16:15, it'd now win 37:36 or 31:30 ... what a difference!

    I also don't see a reason why referees shouldn't be allowed to review video footage. As today's match Germany vs. England demonstrated again, it's actually absolutely outdated not to permit them to access video recordings.
    This is perhaps true for yesterday's game, but in many cases video-review isn't going to change much either. Talking about the original Wembley goal for instance ... would you halt the game for 44 years, because people still haven't been able to decide whether Hurst's ball was actually in or not?

    Many offside decisions (I know you want to waive it, but in case it wouldn't be waived) are also difficult to tell. You can look at a video footage for years and it still remains controversial to disallow a goal if three players jump for the ball, one of which who doesn't actually get to score, but still got around to a attempting to become active and thus divert some players from attention of the ball?

    Example needed? The disallowed goal for Salzburg in this year's 35th round against Austria Vienna. Salzburg needed a draw to definitely be national chamption, Austria Vienna was the second-placed team with 4 points behind, with 2 games left to play. Junuzovic put Austria Vienna ahead in the 91st minute from a free-kick. Then, during the very last minute (94th) minute, Afolabi (I think) scored a header from a long-distance free-kick --- which would have meant that Salzburg had taken the championship. But the referee disallowed it due to his fellow Negro's (Somen Tchoyi I believe?) offside.

    Here in the above example, it was without consequences as Salzburg, Austria Vienna and Rapid Vienna (the three teams then still with chances to take the title) all won their final games, meaning they finished on 76, 75 and 73 points, respectively. But it could have been a title-deciding decision.

    At least in all international and premiership games, official video cameras should be mounted at predefined spots.
    No, because there comes the other point: The games needs variability and unpredictability. Of course, referee decisions shouldn't be completely arbitrary (such as in the "bought" German cup match where he blew the whistle for two impossible penalties and made good money off it ), but they're what make the game such an exciting thing to talk about:

    The fact that the game is oft decided by the odd goal, which may have followed on from a controversial situation. All the evening pub-talk between men escaping from their wives would be boring if there was nothing about the footie to discuss.

    PS: Also, Fußball ist Krieg.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    It's also the kind of radical innovation the FIFA stays far away from, it would never stand for it. Minimalistic changes once every decade, yes, other than that, the FIFA is like the Roman Catholic Church of football.
    I only gave attention to this paragraph right now. The FIFA is not the major body which decides on rule changes, that would be the IFAB (International Football Association Board).

    The IFAB was founded in 1882 when it came to playing the Home Nations tournament between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. To this day, for "traditional reasons"; the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FA retain a member to the IFAB.

    The other four members of this board-of-eight are FIFA officials. For rule changes, it requires a vote quorum of at least 6/8 whereas the FIFA officials typically vote en-bloc whilst the other four may decide on their own whim.

    So, the rather traditional outlook regarding the Laws of the Game would
    have to be mostly blamed on these other four IFAB members rather than the FIFA, who has been suggesting fairly radical stuff throughout the stages. If it's too radical, it typically gets shot down immediately.

    Every time the FIFA does a rule change to favor the offensive teams - like the 'Golden goal' rule (now long dead and gone) - it results in a more compact, closed game - with two teams who are afraid to lose.
    That is arguably true. It was even true of the "Silver Goal", whose unfair layout was made clear by Greece coming ahead in the 105th minute, and the Czech Republic being left with mere seconds to equalise, whilst they would have had a whole 15 minutes to equalise had it been scored a few seconds after kick-off of the second period.

    Defending is an art by itself, some clubs, some national teams are experts at it - some coaches have attached their name to a particular kind of defensive system.
    My example: A game Italy vs. Greece is typically two teams with concrete defending in their own box, in an 8-1-1 tactic with the ball probably remaining in the circle because none would launch an attack at the other.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Video technology takes the drama out of football, and football wihtout drama is nothing to be desired
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    You put a lot of stress on the shoulders of the defenders here.
    Actually, not more than on the forwards or any other players if one thinks about it.

    I can see why that could be more exciting, yet I'm not for it, for reasons I'll explain below.
    exciting (adj)

    Synonyms: thrilling, exhilarating, stirring, stimulating, electrifying, moving, rousing, sensational, breathtaking

    Antonym: boring

    [Source]
    More exciting sounds good to me.

    I'm conservative in these matters, I'm not looking forward to the prospect of teams being able to make a 'corner' out of most balls that go beyond the chalk lines. The idea also favors a particular kind of player - tall and strong - and not the quick or the dribbling types. A player like Messi would lose his significance for a large part of the game.
    Honestly, the argument that the usefulness of dribbling skills would largely depend on the existence of throw-ins appears to be a bit exaggerated.

    No! No! Don't mess with the offside rule TB, there's no alternative for it.
    I'm not looking for one. It could be dumped without alternative or replacement.

    You'd actually kill the game by taking it away.
    I'd actually stimulate it.

    I'm not sure if you ever played a football game with a referee, and with professional rules, on a real pitch, perhaps you have ...
    Yeah, I did, in another century, as a goalkeeper for a couple of seasons. Almost on the other end of the prime league of course.

    Not that it mattered ... what matters more is that we also played many training sessions without offside rule, and these games always used to be much more interesting and challenging.

    The pitch is too big to allow an attacker to stay at the opponent's target, walking around, waiting for a pass. It would make life to easy on the attackers of every team, it would be easier for them to score goals, and in response, coaches would rethink the concept of 'defense', they would (have to) place all their defenders in their own penalty area to deal with the long balls from the other defenders. Doth the defensive midfielders and the attacking would retreat, and play 'lower', just in front of the defense. It would result in the opposite of what you envision, I'm afraid.
    Yes, it would make it easier to score goals, and the game would get more offensive and interesting -- that's the whole purpose. But the changes are not as dramatic, as you outlined them, for what applies to one team also applies to its opponent. No team can afford to place seven players nearby or in the opponent's penalty area in order to drink tea and to wait for passes, because players are also needed in their own half to defend.

    In addition, without offside rule the field begins to function like a vacuum: players are attracted by empty spaces. If there are no players in the midfield, why rely on long and relatively inaccurate passes from one's own half into the opponent's penalty area? Long passes which most likely would be intercepted by the defenders or the goalkeeper? Why not use the midfield to move forward and get closer first? But if players begin to use the midfield or the wings to prepare their attacks, why not attack them there before they are able to center the ball into one's penalty area?

    Aligning the game and the players more towards the goal areas where most of the game should happen, since it is the purpose of soccer to win by scoring goals, will in addition encourage dribbling, interesting pass combinations, headers, etc.

    Every time the FIFA does a rule change to favor the offensive teams - like the 'Golden goal' rule (now long dead and gone) - it results in a more compact, closed game - with two teams who are afraid to lose.
    The football organizations have, like we all, observed that the games became in general much more defensive in the last decades. For many people that's synonymous with less attractive. Most people don't watch football games to appreciate the art of defense. They like offensive games in which teams are taking risks. Awarding three instead of two points to winners was a positive measure to counteract the phenomenon. The "Golden Goal" rule, on the other hand, wasn't, because "Score a goal and you'll have won" means as well "Get a goal and you'll have irreversibly lost."

    Yes, but football is as much about defending as it is about attacking, in countries like Argentina or Italy they don't even care about an attractive or offensive game, as long as the results are positive. Defending is an art by itself, some clubs, some national teams are experts at it - some coaches have attached their name to a particular kind of defensive system. At the same time it are these teams who would actually benefit from taking away the offside rule, 'cause now they don't need to have a midfield anymore ... 8 de facto defenders who launch long balls at two attackers ... the game would lose a lot of it charm and flavor. Some of the best footballers of the world will be worthless in this concept.
    It actually always works in both directions. If you argue that defending is as important as attacking and an art by itself, then I can argue that no offside rule will make a solid defense even more important. I commented on the midfield already. Two attackers won't stand much of a chance against eight defenders if they receive a long pass from their own penalty area. And if you say that the game would lose a lot of charm and flavor and that some of the best footballers in the world will be worthless (a bit of an exaggeration?) in this concept, then I can argue that the game will also gain a lot of charm and flavor, and that some of the best footballers in the world will finally get the chance to develop and play out their full potential.

    Yes, it's scandalous that the world's biggest sport doesn't make use of modern technology, although everybody would welcome it.
    Agreed. Basketball, Ice hockey, baseball, tennis, rugby, cricket, etc. all permit instant replays in certain situations, so why not football?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    I don't like to counter-argue the great Thorburn, because it is usually futile and impossible because he tends to find the better arguments. But this is football, the best invention since sliced bread (the three things better than football: cheese, beer and women were invented before silced bread), so I cannot abstain therefrom.
    I actually don't care that much about soccer anymore: I prefer rugby. So I am actually just trying not to lose my face entirely in view of Chlodovech's and your better arguments.

    Interesting thought, and I actually quite like the idea. It would lead to an increased pressure on the defending team to play the ball into the side-out rather than the goalline-out. It would typically mean that each game would at least two penalties which could add more of a dramatic element, defensive battles like Italy vs. Greece would become interesting again.
    Yes, it would eventually reward teams who manage to exercise a lot of pressure.

    I can see the point, however it provides for one major problem: Currently it is not legal under the laws of the game to score from a throw-in, unless an outfield player or the goalkeeper touch the ball beforehand. Since this would now be possible, any kick-in between 15 and 30 metres away from the opposing goal would be a de-facto free-kick, which IMO shouldn't be awarded against a team which bravely manages to clear an impossible ball.
    Since the corner ball would get converted into one third of a penalty, a long-distance "free kick" appears to maintain the current proportions between corner kick and throw-in?

    The other problem stems from the fact that there applies no offside-rule to balls from throw-ins ... this could be a little dangerous with kick-ins if left unaltered. A kick-in would be such a ridiculous advantage that you could position 9 players between the defenders and the goalkeepers, and pick one to score from the kick-in.
    Well, one could simply apply the existing offside rules. That would only be consequent. Not that it would be really necessary. Corner kicks know by nature no offside either, yet nobody positions 9 players between the defenders and only relatively few corner kicks lead to a goal. Finally, it would be a matter of preference and consistency.

    This one, I must disagree on strongly. As a veteran of the Germanic world's worst football fields in my year-long function as school goalkeeper: Nothing more annoying than four strikers that lurk around your six-yard-box just to wait for the ball, simply because the offside rule isn't being applied.
    I know this situation very well, but there is one thing that's worse: standing in the goal and being tempted to light a cigarette because one is dying of boredom (or freezing one's ass off in winters).

    A few well-placed defenders would make things really interesting.

    The offside rule has its merits, however they should get away from the difficult-to-understand current standard, and return to pre-2002 standards, with active and passive offside. No "he is offside because he tried to become active" and no "damn, did this constitute a new game situation?"
    I absolutely agree that the current offside rule is far too vague and subjective. It turns the man in black almost into a god in black, and of those we have already enough.

    Yes, but high-scoring games aren't always more interesting. I'm a great fan of highly-offensive football and much enjoyed watching the 2008-09 Austrian season even though it was carried out without my team (took till this summer to be promoted again ), where you had strange results like 6:5, 7:3, 7:2, 4:4, 8:1,...; but when this becomes much more regular then it isn't more interesting really.
    It is, in the end, not even the score, I guess. A good and spectacular defense can be as enjoyable. I simply suppose that games whose action is focused more around the goal areas instead of the midfield are more interesting.

    In any case, I admit my defeat and you both have been, as always, exemplary in behavior and magnanimous in victory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorburn View Post
    Awarding three instead of two points to winners was a positive measure to counteract the phenomenon.
    Now here is an interesting thought...

    This could actually be a cause to further reform, closer to the system you see applied in the Rugby World Cup. Adapting it to football, it could look something like that:

    4 points for a win
    2 points for a draw
    0 points for a loss

    1 bonus point for scoring 3 or more goals
    1 bonus point for losing by one goal only.

    So a 4:3 would render 5:2 points, a 1:1 would render 2:2 points, a 3:0 would render 5:0 points, a 4:4 would render 3:3 points and 1:0 would render 4:1 points (with a 5:3 meaning 5:1 points and a 2:0 meaning 4:0 points).

    That way you'd encourage teams to attempt higher-scoring wins because that'd gain them more points. (a 3:0 gains a point more than a 2:0) But you'd also encourage teams who are hopelessly down let's say 4:0 to still attempt to score further goals, because if they actually manage to close the gap to 4:3 it'd mean they'd go away with 2 points even though losing.

    Certainly the SV Mattersburg players would have been happy in their 5:6 loss against SK Sturm Graz last year. 0:5 at half-time, 3:6 some quarter of an hour before the final whistle, they managed an astonishing comeback, that alas went unrewarded.

    Another option would be to introduce compulsory penalty kicks in the case of a draw, with a scoring system of 3-2-1-0, as it is being tried in several Ice Hockey formats (but minus the overtime you have there!) and as it has been tried with some friendly footballing competitions even, as it'd push the teams to go for a regular time victory not to lose out on a point, and would be a double encouragement for the side that is down, not only can it draw with 20 seconds left in the game, but it can still win the game after penalties.

    The penalty-kick option would introduce a bit of unpredictability as it all comes down to one's nerve costume.

    In any case, I admit my defeat and you both have been, as always, exemplary in behavior and magnanimous in victory.
    To stay within footballing jargon: No victory sweater than a humble but a good victory over a deserving opponent.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    If you donät like football, there is a variety of other sports with more scoring, such as handball. People who want to see more goals with all sorts of weird rules, probably don't fully appreciate the sport of football. I mean, it's been the world's most popular sport for 100 years...

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