Soccer’s lawmakers are looking to make penalty shootouts even more unpredictable by adopting the format used for tiebreakers in tennis.
Teams currently alternate in shootouts, but the International Football Association Board says research shows the first team taking kicks has a 60 percent chance of winning.
IFAB is seeking trials in the lower levels of soccer with a new pattern that would see the order mixed up between teams A and B to ABBAABBAAB. This mirrors tennis, where after the first point in tiebreaks — with the score 6-6 at the end of sets — the opponent then serves the next two points and so on.
“We believe that the ABBA approach could remove that statistical bias and this is something that we will now look to trial,” Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said after Friday’s IFAB meeting. “It would mean the first 10 kicks are taken under the ABBA system and then when it gets to next-goal-wins then it would revert to alternate penalties.”
There is a more immediate change coming to soccer on regular penalties in matches from June, with yellow cards no longer awarded for “stopping a promising attack” if there was a clear attempt to play the ball.
Meetings of IFAB, which features the four British nations and four FIFA voters, used to be dominated by discussions about technology. Having introduced goal-line technology in 2012, video replays are now closer to being sanctioned for use across the game.
Live experiments are taking place in about 20 competitions this year, including the Confederations Cup in Russia, which serves as a test event for next year’s FIFA World Cup.
England plans to allow referees to defer to replays in the FA Cup next season from the third round in January, when Premier League teams enter.
“There have been mistakes,” Regan said. “What we don’t want to do is roll it out into a major competition and actually find that it doesn’t get bought into because people haven’t got confidence in the decisions being made.”
IFAB, once renowned as a conservative institution reluctant to change the game, is now willing to offer flexibility to individual countries to tweak the laws.
English Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn, who hosted the meeting, said IFAB should be the “football promotion organization, not the football prevention organization.”
So temporary dismissals — known as sin bins in rugby union — will be allowed for yellow card offenses in youth, grassroots and disability soccer.
“It encourages better behavior,” Glenn said. “We can’t put that in the elite end of the game because that has to look similar all over the world, but the far bigger picture is [to] let countries try different things to promote football.”
IFAB has also given national federations the freedom to decide how many substitutions are allowed in “lower levels of football,” but not games involving the first teams of top-flight competitions and senior international sides.
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very