Letter to Beckenbauer

Apparantly Sepp Blatter has asked Franz Beckenbauer to work out how to replace penalty shoot-outs at football tournaments. So I sent him the only solution, just as I did to Sepp four years ago:

Here’s how it works: In the knock out phase, if there’s a draw, the last three games played by each side are taken into account – notional points for wins and draws totted up. The team that did best goes through. Simple, rewards merit, and introduces all the right incentives:

  •  Teams with the best record go through.
  • No more playing for penalties if you’re the weaker side.
  • If you’re the stronger, why risk it? Apart from anything else, you might need the notional points from a win in the next round.
  • No more meanignless group games (again, you might need the wins later!).
  • The basic integrity of the game restored.
  • The occasional, extra-exciting shoot out when everything else really IS even.
  • Above all, the excitement of teams really going for the win.

PS: last time I suggested this, the only result was a polite phone call from a Swiss secretary to a neighbour asking if they knew me and could give the correct spelling of my address for their bland reply. FIFA may be incompetent, but at least it’s well mannered! Let’s hope Der Kaiser is a bit more decisive.

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4 Responses to Letter to Beckenbauer

  1. Pingback: Prokofiev and Miers-Beckenbauer | Tom Miers

  2. Alastair Ross says:

    Perfectly logical Tom but rather dull when you’re at the game and come full time everyone’s logging onto the internet and spreadsheets to work it out. Scrapping the offside rule would probably be more effective by incentivising teams to play further forward and create more chances

    • tdpcm says:

      You’d know what each side had to do before the game. A bit like the last game of a group. So Holland last night had to win, which lead to an open game. The same dynamic would be carried forward to the knockout stages.

  3. Jean de Bolle says:

    What is wrong with penalties? The winning team is always happy and the loosing team have only themselves to blame for not winning during the 120 minutes of the game, assuming extra time was played. And it is very exciting for most fans who after all provide the economics for the game.

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