England set to benefit as new penalty system is tested.

Could England finally win a penalty shoot out? Penalty shootouts as we know them could be a thing of the past with a new system being tested that will radically change the current format. UEFA believe the current A,B,A,B system hands the starting team a 60% chance of winning. In the interests of fairness, the new system would adopt a similar format to a tennis tie break, with a A,B,B,A system taking over.

The new system, how does it work?

The new format would see the first team take the first penalty, but the second team take the next two penalties. Then the first team would take the next two penalties. This would continue until each team has taken five penalties. If the scores are still level, this pattern would continue into sudden death until a winner has been determined. This new format is currently being trialed at the Euro Under 17 Championships in Croatia.


Will this benefit England at the next World Cup.

With England only having won one penalty shootout at a major tournament vs Spain at Euro 96, could this be the change to end England’s penalty shootout woes? It is widely considered that England have had the quality on the pitch to win past penalty shootouts, but psychologically, England have really suffered in the past. UEFA are convinced this will level the playing field, so it’s up to England to get the job done and score those penalties at Russia 2018.


Will the changes help referees?

This new format may initially create confusion for referees as it is a different way of scoring the game. Plus, players may not fully understand the new system and referees are the people who are going to have to answer the questions. It is vital that referees are not only trained, but well informed about the new system before it is potentially rolled out into other major competitions and tournaments.


Verdict: Good or bad for Football?

Good: Another good improvement for football by providing a truly equal playing field to decide tied matches. Although doesn’t have too much impact on the lives of referees.


Author: George Vines

Football Business & Media Studies; UCFB Wembley

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