UEFA to improve penalty shootouts

UEFA are reportedly considering revising the penalty shootout format to improve fairness amongst competing teams.

As it stands, at the end of a knock-out game, where a winner must be decided on the day, penalties are used to determine the winner of the encounter if the two sides cannot be separated after 90 minutes plus 30 minutes of extra-time.

The two teams then take turns to take a penalty, with recent statistics showing that the side that starts, has a 60 per cent chance of winning the shoot-out.

Under the new proposed ABBA rule, that is being tried out at the European Under-17 Championship and the women's European Under-17 Championship, one team will take their kick before the other team's chance, but instead of the first team then taking their second kick, the team that kicked second will kick again.

Therefore, instead of teams alternating spot-kicks, teams will take two successive penalties to ensure one team is not always playing catch-up. A coin toss will still be used to see who goes first.

Part of a statement from UEFA read: "The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure."

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