Fifa is to consider abolishing extra time at the World Cup and going straight to penalties if knockout matches are drawn, the world football governing body’s president Sepp Blatter said Thursday.
Blatter also said that Fifa would look at ways of encouraging teams to play a more attacking game after a flurry of low-scoring contests in the early stages of this year’s World Cup in South Africa.
“In the first few matches of the group stage in South Africa, we witnessed some teams that went out to avoid defeat, that were playing for a draw from the outset,” he told Fifa’s website.
“This is a topic that I would like to discuss at upcoming football and technical committee meetings. We have to try to find a way to encourage free-flowing football in tournaments like the World Cup, with teams playing to win.
“We plan to take the opportunity to look at the concept of extra time as well. Often we see teams set themselves up even more defensively in extra time, in an attempt to avoid conceding a goal at all costs.
“To prevent this, we could go directly to a penalty shootout at full time, or reintroduce the golden goal rule. We’ll see what emerges from the committee meetings.”
Blatter’s remarks differ from an interview he gave to the German magazine Focus last month, when he was quoted as saying Fifa were considering penalty shootouts to provide a winner when drawn matches ended goalless. —Reuters