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Uefa is considering a radical change to penalty shoot-outs


1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2012.

Six times England have been found wanting under the intense pressure of a penalty shoot-out. Just one solitary victory has been achieved by the national team, in the quarter-final of Euro 96, when they beat a Spanish team who, at the time, were even worse bottlers than us. Things changed ever-so-slightly for them in the years following that, though...

But don’t worry England fans: because help is at hand.

Uefa is considering plans to alter the format of the penalty shoot-out in order to make it fairer.

They are trialing a new system whereby, instead of teams taking alternate penalties, with one side always playing catch-up, they will instead follow a format similar to a tennis tie-break.

They will follow an ‘ABBA’ style pattern, with teams taking two penalties in a row after the initial one. And, of course, the winner will still take it all. A coin will still be tossed to decide who goes first, so there’ll still be the involvement of money, money, money.

The move comes after research suggested that teams taking the first penalty have an unfair advantage as they win 60% of shootouts. Uefa said in a statement: "The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure."

The new system is being tested at the men’s European Under-17 Championship, which began in Croatia on Wednesday, and also at the women’s European Under-17 Championship, which is taking place in the Czech Republic.

So would it have helped England?

1990 v West Germany: Went first
1996 v Germany: Went first
1998 v Argentina: Went second
2004 v Portugal: Went first
2006 v Portugal: Went second
2012 v Italy: Went second

(1996 v Spain: Went first)

Yeah, not sure it’s going to make too much difference, lads.


(Image: Rex)



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