An experiment changing the order of penalty kicks taken by teams in shoot-outs is being tested at the men’s and women’s European Under-17 Championship.
The new system known as ABBA, sanctioned by the International Football Association Board to be trialled by UEFA, is similar to the tie-break format used in tennis and is designed to prevent the team going second from having to play catch-up.
Currently, shoot-outs see team A and team B alternate in taking five penalties each. If the scores are level, the procedure continues in a sudden death format.
The new system sees team A take the first penalty, team B the second and third, team A the fourth and fifth and so on until each team has had five kicks – and the sequence continues if the shoot-out goes to sudden death.
The IFAB claims research proves the team taking the first penalty have a 60 per cent chance of winning. The game’s law makers deem this an unfair advantage and want to make the system fairer.
The experiment is featuring at the men’s Under-17 Championship in Croatia and the women’s tournament in the Czech Republic.