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RUFC - Are Penalty Shoot-Outs Fair

RUFC - Are Penalty Shoot-Outs Fair

I see that FIFA President, Sepp Blatter wants an alternative to a penalty shoot-out to decide a game.

Seemingly not being able to come up with something else himself, he's asked Franz Beckenbauer, head of the Football Task Force 2014, to find with something that will work.

Mr Blatter says that 'soccer loses its essence' when matches have to be settled by penalties, although a few hours after making that statement he did clarify it by saying he didn't want to scrap shoot-outs altogether but believed that games should be decided 'eleven v eleven'.

Even though his former team, Bayern Munich, lost to Chelsea in the Champions League Final in a penalty shoot-out, Beckenbauer replied by saying that penalty shoot-outs 'bring emotions into play and are a lot more attractive than the toss of a coin.'

If we didn't have penalty shoot-outs, what else could we use? Not the toss of a coin. We've tried the Golden Goal (and if that had been used in the Huddersfield v Sheffield United play-off final recently I think we'd still have been there now!)

Could we use the statistics during the game - corners, offside, shots on goal, percentage of play? I hardly think so - how many times do we question a linesman`s offside flag? What actually constitutes a shot on goal? How about fewest cautions in the game? But again, referees and linesman don't always get that right do they.

First goal counts double? That's fine for the team who scores that first goal but for the other team it would be an up hill struggle. But, on the other hand it could mean both sides would go for attacking play which would make it more exciting for the fans.

It seems a long time ago since penalty shoot-outs began and, looking back through the football archives, I think the first one was in the 'Watney Cup' when Manchester United and Hull City decided a game on penalties. Denis Law, so famous for other records, is also said to be the first player to miss a penalty in a shoot-out - luckily for him, it didn't matter as United went through - although they lost, at the Baseball Ground, to Derby County in the Final.

Well, I don't know if Beckenbauer will come up with an alternative but if he does it will have to be something that will work in all football games. And, until then, it has to be a penalty shoot-out - whether you love 'em or hate 'em.

Do you like penalty shoot-outs?
Can you think of an alternative?
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Writer:Herringthorpe
Date:Tuesday May 29 2012
Time: 9:41AM

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