German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer has been tasked with coming up with an alternative to penalty shootouts to decide drawn matches, according to FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Germans are supposed to be good at them, but now one of the country's biggest football stars, Franz Beckenbauer, has been asked to find an alternative to penalty shootouts to decide matches that remain undecided even after half an hour of extra time.
The president of soccer's world governing body FIFA, Sepp Blatter, said at the 62nd FIFA Congress in Budapest, Hungary, that football "loses its essence as a team sport" when it goes to penalty kicks, adding that the passion and drama that come with the sport can become a "tragedy" in a shootout.
Last Saturday, London side Chelsea beat German club Bayern Munich in a tense shootout to win Europe's top-tier soccer competition, the Champions League, despite the German side having dominated the match.
Beckenbauer, the former Bayern captain and president, heads FIFA's Task Force Football 2014 panel, which Blatter created in 2010 to improve football before the next World Cup in Brazil. "Perhaps Franz Beckenbauer with his Football 2014 group can present us with a solution, if not today then tomorrow."
If a football match is still drawn after the regular match time of 90 minutes plus half an hour of extra time, each side takes five penalty kicks at the same goal. If it's still drawn after that, sudden-death kicks are taken until one team scores and the other does not.
ng/tj (AP, Reuters)