Penalty shootouts in football could be transformed to make them fairer under new plans being looked at by Uefa.
The sport’s European governing body is already trialling a new way for penalties to be taken in decisive shootouts.
Instead of teams alternating spot-kicks, Uefa is considering a new system similar to the tie-break in tennis.
The system is being tried out at the European Under-17 Championship, which began in Croatia on Wednesday.
How does it work?
As it stands, teams take turns in a shootout, with the choice of who goes first decided by a coin toss.
For example, team A goes first, then team B, then team A again.
The new system is called ‘ABBA’ and sees team A followed by team B – before team B goes again. Team A would then get two successive penalties, and so on until there is a winner.
A coin will still be tossed to decide who goes first.
Why is a change needed?
The idea is to stop the team going second having to always, potentially, play catch-up. The sport’s rule-making body, Ifab, approved the trial after looking at research it says proves the team taking the first penalty have an unfair advantage as they win 60% of shootouts.
“The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure,” said Uefa.
The system is also being trialled at the women’s European Under-17 Championship, which began in the Czech Republic on Tuesday.