1. A player that kicks the ball out of play should not get it back. Only the referee should stop play. Nobody stops a rugby game for a player lying on the ground, so you definitely don’t have to stop a football game. No one will die or remain paralyzed because a ball was not kicked out of play.
What if a player is still convinced a colleague is about to die? Well, he can still kick it out of play – some things are more important than losing possession in a football game.
2. If the referee has stopped play, stop this idiocy of “returning the ball to the opposition”. The referee should just give it back to the team in possession where it should be. Nothing is more grotesque than a team being applauded for returning a ball 80 meters to the opposing keeper.
3. Don’t stop the game for substitutions. In Ice hockey – a 6-on-6 much faster game – they replace players many times during play. The incoming player should stand by 4th official, once the sign comes up the substituted player is forbidden from touching the ball. You will be surprised: the whole thing will take 5-6 seconds! The player will thank his teammates in the dressing room and thank the fans once he has cleared the field.
4. Touching the ball significantly after a whistle – like kicking it to any distance – should be an immediate yellow card.
5. Any word to the referee from a player other than the captain should be a yellow card. If a player really needs to tell the referee something, he can tell his captain to pass it on.
And what if the captain is a goalkeeper?
Well, goalkeepers should not be captains. You can let them lift the World Cup even if they weren’t the field captain.
6. Finally: a team conceding a goal should be allowed to resume play immediately – even if the opposition players are circling the stadium semi nude doing some exotic choreography.