Saturday, January 09, 2021

Coin-tosses to decide football matches (redux)

 Long-time readers will recall my interest in lotteries. The use of penalty shootouts to settle football matches is sometimes likened to a lottery. Indeed, it's sometimes described as a lottery, though I think this is metaphorical, not literally true.

Before the introduction of shootouts, matches were sometimes settled by the toss of a coin. That idea seems to have been revived for cancelled matches in the women's FA Cup.

The BBC quotes Everton boss Willie Kirk, saying that he "never, ever thought a game would be decided by that at this level.... It would be a shame for those clubs to lose an FA Cup game on a coin toss." Perhaps he's unaware that Liverpool 'beat' FC Cologne on a coin-toss in the 1964-5 European Cup...

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