Uefa to trial brand-new penalty shootout format designed to even out advantage of going first or second

Sports Staff
The Independent
UEFA's new rules would change how shootouts are played: Bongarts
UEFA's new rules would change how shootouts are played: Bongarts

Penalty shootouts as we know them could be a thing of the past with Uefa unveiling plans to test a whole new system for taking spot kicks.

Currently penalty shootouts see team A and team B take five penalties each in an alternating pattern with sudden death used after that if the scores are level.

But under a new system proposed by football's rule making body IFAB the shootout would use a new sequence that replicates the switch of serve between tennis players in a tie break.

The new system, known as ABBA, involves team A taking the first penalty, team B the second and third, team A the fourth and fifth and so on until each team had taken five. The sequence would continue if the shootout then goes to sudden death.

IFAB, which approved trials of the new system in March, says research proves the team taking the first penalty have a 60 percent chance of winning, giving them an unfair advantage.

"The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure," said Uefa.

"If the opposition's first penalty in the pair has been successful, a miss by the second penalty-taker in the pair could mean the immediate loss of a match for his team, especially from the fourth pair of penalties onwards." Uefa said.

Uefa confirmed the system will be tested in the European under-17 championships, which began in Croatia on Wednesday.

As with the existing system, the referee will toss a coin to decide at which end of the pitch the shootout takes place.

The referee will then toss the coin for a second time and winners can decide whether to take the first or second kick.

What to read next