May 25, 2012

Dear Franz Beckenbauer, Please consider our idea…

FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, has suggested that there should be an alternative to the dreaded penalty shoot-out to decide a football result. Why? Probably because an English football team finally managed to beat a German team on penalties! So, what about this for an idea…

What was wrong with the replay? For years teams slogged out a stalemate over 90 minutes and then reconvened another day to try for a result. In leagues and championships across the world this was once considered the fairest resolution. Sadly, in this age of money motivated football and an ever more congested fixture list, there’s little time for additional matches. As it’s unlikely that less matches are to be expected in the near future and, despite wages equivalent to the GDP of small countries, physical and mental demands on players are increasing another solution is long overdue.

If Extra Time, Golden Goals and the toss of a coin have failed to meet the expectations and the more outrageous suggestions to remove players from the pitch have been ignored then what about…

The return of the replay… but not as you know it!

If American Football matches can last for hours then the precedent for an extended game that can address the added demands of broadcasting has been set. Carry On Playing… no, not a new British Comedy, though in some cases it may be!

To avoid the prolonged agony of numerous replays and with large squads of talented but often second-string players filling substitutes benches, the match continues there and then. The difference being that because the ‘first team’ players will be tired and the tactics will have negated each other (thus the draw) then introduce ‘new’ teams with fresh legs to carry on the game. Top teams invest millions of pounds in players that should be value for money so why not use them? National squads contain at least two teams of players so, why not use them?

A win, win situation… the game is won on footballing talent, reserve players get to show their skills and the crowd get an extra football match.

For the first time in what felt like an eternity, Chelsea representing England beat the German Bayern Munich team 4-3 on penalties last weekend to take the coveted European Champions League title and maybe FIFA are concerned that England could repeat this in the forthcoming Euro 2012 tournament? However, given that only two of the Chelsea penalty takers were English, it would seem that Sepp Blatter has little to worry about this summer!

Last updated: May 25, 2012 at 11:50 am