In the interest of clarity , let me point out that the following post is about football. Not the game we call football here in North America, but the Beautiful Game we refer to as soccer.
Last weekend Italy won the Euro Cup by defeating England. I can’t say I’m a big football fan, but I certainly enjoy watching it when played by the best. The tournament started in early June and the last two teams standing faced off for the championship last Sunday.
It seems a shame to me that the final was decided not by playing the game, but by using an element of the game, penalty kicks, to decide a winner.
It seems a shame to me that the final was decided not by playing the game, but by using an element of the game, penalty kicks, to decide a winner. I don’t like the idea that after all the matches have been played, and in the final match the two top teams are deadlocked after 90 minutes plus an additional 30 minutes, in an effort to break the tie penalty kicks are used.
What’s the rush? Until 1993, in the FA Cup Final, should the score be tied after regulation time and additional time, the entire game would be replayed several days later. Just imagine if the Euro Cup folks decided to give this a try.
Replaying the final match should it end in a tie after 120 minutes, would allow another sold-out stadium, fans buying souvenirs, food and beer. Television advertising sales reps could sell another broadcast’s worth of expensive spots. But most importantly, the chances of the Cup being awarded due to an error by an exhausted player in the shoot-out would be drastically reduced if not eliminated.
But now, instead of players who are dog-tired and prone to mistakes, two teams of fresh, rested world-class athletes would do what they do best – play the game.
The players would take the field a few days later and start all over again to determine a winner. But now, instead of players who are dog-tired and prone to mistakes, two teams of fresh, rested world-class athletes would do what they do best – play the game. (Yes, I do realize that if after two full games the teams are still tied some sort of tie-breaker would be called for – it can’t go on forever!).
This seems to me to be a win-win-win-win situation; with, of course one losing team.
Also, can we please change the concept of an own goal? Sometimes in hockey the puck goes in off of a defending player. The goal is awarded to the last attacking team player to touch the puck. The name of the poor player who inadvertently caused the puck to go into his/her own goal does not appear on the scoresheet. Although heartless television camera operators and producers make sure the regretful player is focussed upon.