This has been sitting with Ibrox Noise, not just since Sevilla, but since even earlier, and resurfaced once again at Qatar’s world cup last year.
Is it time finally to abolish the lottery of penalty shoot-outs in football, or change what they mean?
As things stand, if you haven’t won by 120 minutes, it is thrown up to the hands of the football Gods in the penalty shoot-out, and the losers are left absolutely devastated. It’s fine for the winners, of course, but the losers are heartbroken to ‘have lost that way’.
In short, shoot-outs simply aren’t fair, nor are they a just way to separate two teams, which is why Ibrox Noise proposes two alternative strategies, both of which are infinitely fairer and still conclusive.
1: Use more than one extra time: the first at 30 minutes, the second being 15, then 7, then 5 until we have a winner. Rules are the same – whoever scores more goals wins, but configured more like American basketball with its overtime, whereby it just keeps repeating till we have a legitimate winner. If a winner is found in the first 30 minutes, great. But it is not left as a lottery. Now for those saying the players would end up exhausted – boo hoo. Basketball players cope with it, and we’re sure dispensation could be added for extra subs to be used.
2: Change what the shoot-out means – instead of it defining a winner, it is equal to one goal. So instead of going into extra time first, it’s the penalties first. Then whoever wins that has a goal to their credit and something to work on in extra time. If they’re equalised, then it resorts to the above format.
We’re just fed up seeing teams lose at massive stakes to penalties – a horrible, unjust way to lose an entire tournament just because Aaron Ramsey screwed up or because a goalie put someone off in an unsporting manner.
Are we bitter? A little, of course – Eintracht were worthy winners, but losing via penalties was the worst. And surely there has to be a better way?