"We are becoming increasingly concerned that the latter stages of major international football tournaments are becoming increasingly dominated by negative tactics. Italy won the 2006 World Cup after a penalty shoot-out and the recent quarter finals in the European Championships featuring Turkey v Croatia and Spain v Italy were just tedious.
"Therefore, having consulted absolutely no one about this, and ignoring the fact that the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League all continue to prosper year on year, we have decided to introduce a worldwide trial of some new rules designed to fundamentally alter the game and make it more attractive to Australians with a four second attention span.
"We have decided to call these new rules the Pointless Experimental Rule Variations (PERVs) which will come into effect worldwide (with some exceptions) on 1st August 2008. Although there a number of technical changes including a maximum length for players' shorts, the following are the key changes:
- The crossbar will be raised two feet;
- No one above the height of 5ft 4in will be permitted to be a goalkeeper;
- Four points will be awarded for a goal;
- An extra "point" will be awarded if the ball is kicked over the bar;
- Free kicks, which tend to interrupt the flow of the game, will be abolished. Instead after six fouls possession will be handed to the opposition;
- Players will be permitted to use their hands to control and pass the football - with the exception of goalkeepers who must only use their feet;
- Throw-ins will be permitted from anywhere on the sideline and may be taken by the first player to grab hold of the ball;
- An extra ball will be introduced at half-time, just for the hell of it.
- The entire range of PERVs will be introduced in Australia from 1st August. The rest of the world shall be allowed to determine which of the PERVs it adopts, provided that each country must choose a minimum of five of the above PERVs.
- In the event that an international match takes place after the introduction of the PERVs and the two countries involved find that they are each playing under different rules, a meeting shall take place 5 minutes before the match to agree which rules will apply to the match. If an agreement cannot be reached each team will play under its own rules and in the event of a total impasse the match will be decided on the toss of a coin."
"This is a huge step forward for the evolution of soccer," said Football Australia's CEO, Ben Buckley. "The PERVs will enable us to compete more effectively with Aussie Rules and Rugby League in a crowded marketplace. I've already had a call from the ARU Chief John O'Neill suggesting that our two sports should consider merging."