Wednesday, September 27, 2006


[This post represents quick thoughts - which I may or not get round to expanding later]

Sepp Blatter has suggested future World Cup finals shouldn't be decided by penalties. (Reaction here)

Personally, I think his alternative is ridiculous, and that penalties definitely are the best way to settle things.

One thing people who know me will probably know is that I hate penalties being referred to as 'a lottery'. Penalties depend on, if not skill, then at least nerve, at least as much as luck (which plays a role in all football)

If you wanted a real lottery, you could toss a coin. It's decided football matches before...


At 10:06 am, Anonymous rachele said...

I really shouldn't complain about winning world cups on penalties :) but I always found them rather pointless...I agree with you they are not a lottery, but they do make the whole thing boil down to the skill of a few individuals, which seems to be somewhat against the idea of a team sport. Of course, the idea of removing players one at a time is also bollocks...maybe the only solution really is extra time ad-lib (ie no golden goal)?

At 1:47 pm, Blogger Rob Jubb said...

There are at least two problems with extending extra time indefinitely. The first is that players become tired, and the game suffers as a result. The second is that it would be a scheduling nightmare. What if extra-time went on for an hour and a half? Who'd pay for the police presence? How would fans get back? The problem is that matches have to be resolved somehow, and penalties are probably a better way than the toss of a coin, because at least they involve some football skill.

The thing about penalties is that they're not a lottery. I've seen a couple of penalty shoot-outs where I knew exactly who was going to win before they started: Italy in the semi-final of Euro 2000, where the Dutch had had two penalties saved in normal time, were never going to lose once it went to penalties, for example (it was a travesty, BTW: the only Italian player who came out of the game with any credit at all was the keeper - the Dutch played them off the park).


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