October 31 - A star-studded FIFA panel charged with finding ways to make the game more of a spectacle in time for the next World Cup in Brazil has been disbanded.
The so-called Task Force Football 2014 group, featuring legendary names including Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer (pictured top) and Sir Bobby Charlton, has been wound up.
Beckenbauer, the committee chairman, and his colleagues were asked make suggestions to improve both the attractiveness of football and match control in elite competitions.
FIFA said its work was now complete and was being taken over by its existing Football Committee, chaired by UEFA President Michel Platini.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter had appointed the Task Force to create a more entertaining World Cup after too many lacklustre matches in South Africa in 2010.
But it got off on the wrong foot as Pelé and others regularly skipped meetings including the inaugural session in May 2011.
In the end, the committee became somewhat of a talking shop, coming up with only cosmetic ideas for change and failing to deliver any meaningful or binding suggestions for modernising the game.
The fact that Beckenbauer has been staunchly opposed to goal-line technology hardly helped the Task Force's cause.
Penalty shootouts was one issue Blatter was keen to address telling this year's FIFA Congress in May: "Perhaps Franz Beckenbauer with his Football 2014 group can present us with a solution, if not today then tomorrow."
After winding up the Task Force, a FIFA statement insisted its work had not been in vain.
"The FIFA Task Force Football 2014, which started in May 2011, has concluded its work following discussions on possible reforms of the game," the statement read.
"Several members of this task force, including its chairman Franz Beckenbauer, will now integrate with the FIFA Football Committee, a permanent standing committee which will continue to present proposals to improve the game."
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