FIFA President Sepp Blatter has called for penalty shootouts to be scrapped, just a week after England's Chelsea heroes beat Bayern Munich in Munich on spot kicks in the Champion League Finals.
He called penalties a "tragedy" for the game and requested German's Franz Beckenbauer to find something "better."
In the FIFA Congress yesterday, he claims that football "loses its essence" if it goes into penalty.
He also added: "Football can be a drama, even a tragedy, when we go to penalty kicks. Football should not go to one to one, because when football goes to penalty kicks, it loses its essence as a team sport."
Chelsea beat Bayern after the German club dominated possession but failed to make it count when needed and later Bayern were beaten 3-4 on penalties after an amazing performance from Chelsea's man between the post, who went the right way for all six penalties. (Yes, six!)
The task force has met several teams but has shown little public interest in scrapping penalty shootouts when English teams have lost. Just 2 years ago, the same person was backing penalty shootouts and even insisting that extra time be scrapped and games go to penalties right after a draw!
In 2010 Blatter told German magazine Focus: "If there is no winner at the end of 90 minutes of play, we would proceed directly to penalty kicks."
Are penalty shootouts still the best way to end the game after 120 minutes of football?
Interesting how the FIFA President can suddenly change his mind on something so big and starts giving people another headache when goal-line technology is so much more important right now.
In my opinion, penalty shootouts remain the best way to end a draw.
1. Weaker Teams
When a competition reaches the final stage whereby a team is underdog (eg. Liverpool vs. Cardiff and Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea) a penalty shootout will give the weaker team a much larger chance of winning when compared to even more extra time!
With that noted, when it comes to teams like Liverpool and Cardiff, I believe Cardiff has much less experience and training for penalty shootouts.
Still, a penalty shootout balances the skills and luck for both teams as a reward to 22 very tired players who would prefer to just end the game as soon as possible. Yes, it is extremely saddening to lose on penalty (I've lost before) but would you like to lose based on shots on targets?
2. New System, New Rules
If you introduce a new system now, there will be new rules. And rules are written by geniuses in the FA. Clearly, there will be much to exploit from the new rules and with major tournaments coming up like Euros 2012 and Olympics 2012, this is a very bad time to do it.
Drop me some comments on what you think about penalty shootouts and if you have any ideas that might be able to replace it.
Thanks a lot for reading. Cheers.