Blatter wants alternative to penalty shoot-outs

FIFA president Sepp Blatter today labelled penalty shoot-outs “a tragedy” and challenged Franz Beckenbauer to come up with an alternative.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter today labelled penalty shoot-outs “a tragedy” and challenged Franz Beckenbauer to come up with an alternative.

Two major tournaments last season were decided by shoot-outs – Chelsea’s Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich and the African Nations Cup when Zambia beat Ivory Coast.

Beckenbauer, honorary president of Bayern Munich, is also head of the Football Task Force 2014 which has been charged with recommending rule changes and Blatter said the body should now look at penalty shoot-outs.

Blatter told the FIFA Congress in Budapest: “Football can be a tragedy when you go to penalty kicks. Football should not go to one to one, when it goes to penalty kicks football loses its essence.

“Perhaps Franz Beckenbauer with his football 2014 group can show us a solution perhaps not today but in the future.”

Meanwhile, the decision on the introduction of goal-line technology is now expected to take place in Zurich in July rather than the day after the Euro 2012 final in Kiev.

The International FA Board had been due to meet in the Ukraine capital on July 2 but instead the meeting has been rescheduled for July 5 in Zurich due to logistical issues in organising the meeting so soon after the climax of the tournament.

Tests are being carried out on two goal-line systems including an experiment on the Hawkeye system at England v Belgium at Wembley next month.

The Congress was also told the British privileges which guarantees the four home nations their own FIFA vice-president were outdated, and that a decision on this will be made at next year's Congress.

Theo Zwanziger, the German in charge of revising FIFA’s statutes, said: “I have a lot of respect for what the British have done for more than 100 years, but football has moved on and it is our duty and obligation to decide if the privileges are still justified in our time and age.

“This question has been raised in relation to the British vice-presidency.”

He also said the composition of the International FA Board, the law-making body made up of the four British home nations – who have one vote each – and FIFA, who have four votes, should be changed.

Zwanziger added: “We believe that IFAB should renew itself from within, but perhaps the composition should change.

“It should be more modern and more democratic, more transparent and not allow for blocking other views. We should know clearly and publicly why something has been rejected.”

FIFA also confirmed they will put aside $75m (€60m) to cover the cost of insuring players on international duty.

The insurance for injured players will cover the salary for the second to 12th month of his absence, with a maximum pay-out of $9.75m (€7.75m).

Swiss law professor Mark Pieth, who has proposed a number of reforms including limited terms of office and age limits on FIFA members, urged the Congress not to pass up the chance to reform.

He also recommended FIFA set up a public hotline for reporting allegations of corruption.

Pieth said: “I encourage you to make use of this singular chance you have to go down the reform route.

“This is crucial, make it real and you could make a real difference.

“Do something really courageous and generations of footballers and fans and stakeholders will thank you.”

Pieth also wants independent members on FIFA’s executive committee and for top FIFA officials to make their salaries public.

None of those reforms will be voted on by FIFA until next year’s Congress, however.

The only reforms passed at this Congress are splitting the ethics committee into an investigative arm and a sanctioning arm with independent chairmen, appointing a woman on to FIFA’s executive committee, and appointing Swiss businessman Domenico Scala as independent chairman of the new audit and compliance committee.

Pieth appealed to the Congress not just to pick out the reforms which suited them, saying: “Please abstain from cherry-picking out of this menu. I’m not saying you have to do everything, but these things are linked.”

Blatter, however, immediately responded, saying: “Even if Professor Pieth will say we shall not cherry-pick, we cannot take the whole tree.

“It is impossible to take the tree and take all the cherries down.”

But he added: “This is the first step, a very important one, and we will definitely take the second step at next year’s Congress.”

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