They've gone ahead and done it.
After fewer and fewer examples of the ball actually being kicked up the pitch towards the opponent's goal in the latest Euro 2016 Championships, FIFA have taken the bull by the horns and banned all forward passing for the 2018 World Cup.
Giving in, some would say, to a football coaching fraternity obsessed with keeping hold of the ball in a form of the game now referred to as Possession Football, the governing body of World Football has given a green light to a full-on version of this style of play.
An exception to the new rules will apply to Goalkeepers who can kick the ball as far forward as they can but instead of going for goal, once their team mates get the ball, they will now officially be forced to turn back towards their own goal and pass the ball backwards, through their defenders, even as far back as the goalkeeper who can then start the whole process all over again.
Players will now be able to play this type of risk-free football without worrying about old codgers in the stands calling out, 'Forward, forward'.
As one spokesman reinforced, 'We believe that in removing the need to actually score goals, we will take away the pressure of losing possession, the priority in today's game. This should continue to calm down the game as a spectacle and allow fans to remain relaxed and as silent as they can while the players keep the ball'.
Kicking it forward will still be allowed in penalty shoot-outs as it is likely that even more matches will end up 0-0 after extra time. The winners will be the first team to reach an agreed number of penalties scored. This level was going to be set at 10 but after last night's Semi-Final between Germany and Italy where players, so ingrained in the possession football methodology, preferred to miss than to let the opposition keeper get anywhere near the ball, that level has been set at 3.
To wake fans up and minimise sleeping in seats, a sight not good for TV companies selling advertising space abroad, pre-game entertainment will be beefed up. Using the example of this year's FA Cup Final, as much meaningless noise will be created as possible by the hiring of music acts which must pass the new 'Thin Lizzy' test where the sound they make must exceed eardrum splitting levels. Also, every blade of grass will be covered and used for other entertainments ranging from wiggling IPL-style pom-pom based dance acts, Police dog troupes to the Dagenham Girl Pipers brought back to perform, even though most of them are in their 70's and dependent on a special form of Glucosomine mixed with particles of dust from the old Ford Motor Works seized after it was raised to the ground.
Copying the example of the Super Bowl, half time has been increased to 45 minutes to allow countries and clubs to put on 'Mid-Game Shows' with competitions reminiscent of the Royal Tournament Gun Run where crews of overweight roadies from 1970's heavy rock bands will compete in erecting stages in the middle of the pitch, only to take them apart again as soon as they have completed putting them up.
To ensure the forward pass does not creep back into the game, FIFA are encouraging local national associations to introduce coach education workshops which will teach the new way of playing. These new methods will not apply to coaches in the academies of English clubs as the coaches have been teaching this way of playing for a decade now.
As someone close to youth football said, 'This move may sound revolutionary but the reality is that we have been doing it this way for ages. We're just glad that no-one seems to have noticed. In fact, it makes things so much easier as now you don't even have to worry about crosses or shots which is such a relief as the lighter ball usually sends these way up in the air. Watch out, 'Jet Stream' is what we usually call out as another shot or cross flies high.'
A well known manager said with some relief, 'At last, we can nail the whole youth development approach. Just keep passing it along the back 4 time after time. Once the 2 year-olds in the academies learn this, they can go straight into the 1st team at their clubs meaning we don't have to spend all that lovely TV money on expensive players from far-off lands'.
A contact in Zurich denied that beach balls will be used for the 2018 World Cup Qualifying Campaign.