ABBA tests itself out

FIFA and UEFA have already trialled the ABBA penalty shoot-out system on the international stage but Arsenal and Chelsea fans got to see it first hand in the Community Shield this afternoon. The idea of the new system being introduced is aimed at making it fairer on the team taking the second penalty. Traditionally, English clubs have used the ABAB system, with each team taking it in turns to strike a spot kick. The new system is based on the format used in tennis tie-breaks, with the team taking the first kick in each pair of kicks alternating, so AB BA AB and so on, instead of AB AB etc. The ABBA format will also be introduced in the EFL Cup, EFL trophy and playoffs this season.

The idea behind the change is to prevent the team that goes second from having to, potentially, play catch-up for the entire shootout. Research apparently showed that the team that goes first has an unfair advantage as they win 60 per cent of shootouts, according to BBC Sport. “The hypothesis is that the player taking the second kick in the pair is under greater mental pressure,” said UEFA.

By: Mootaz Chehade