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.