Arsenal defeated Chelsea in the Community Shield match in, what fans found, a bizarre and confusing penalty shoot-outs. With the match ending all square after 90 minutes, the London rivals headed straight into a shoot-out to decide the winner and a new system, aimed at being fairer on the team taking the second penalty, was brought into use.
The earlier system used was “AB AB” system in which players of both teams took their shot at the goal alternatively. But some felt that this system gave an unfair advantage to the team taking the first kick and created pressure on the second. Thus they called for a new system which was fair to both hence presenting the ” ABBA” system (which has nothing to do with the Swedish band with the same name).
The new system is based on the format used in tennis tie-breakers, with both the teams taking the first kick in each pair of kicks alternatively, so AB BA AB BA and so on instead of the traditional AB AB AB AB. The thinking behind the new system is the idea that there is greater mental pressure on the player taking the second kick in the ABAB format, thus the advantage for the team striking first being minimized by using ABBA.
“The FA has today announced that a different order of kicks for Kicks from the Penalty Mark (KFPM) will be used at Sunday’s FA Community Shield supported by McDonald’s – the first time the new format will be used competitively in the country,” the FA said in a statement.
The new system shall be implemented across all English Football League tournaments from this season and the aforementioned game was the first view of what is about to come. FIFA and UEFA have tried the system on the international stage and now it will be introduced in the EFL cup, EFL trophy and playoffs at the end of the season.
While some people praise the new rule introduced, the ABBA penalties format hits wrong notes for a large section of football fans and pundits Former England captain Steven Gerrard, in his role as a television commentator, was unconvinced about the new system as it decided a major British game for the first time.
“I liked the format that we already had. It was very exciting, it was tense,” said Gerrard. “It does change the advantage if you like.
“If you miss that first penalty – which is the advantage if you score it – and the other team scores their first two then 2-0 is a big advantage to the second team.”
“Before you’d want to go first, but you would think twice now.
“If they miss you’ve got two opportunities (to score), so do you give them the opportunity to go first?“
Even some of the football fans were decidedly unimpressed by the new ABBA format as it was the main talking point on social media, where fans called it “stupid” as the predictable jokes about the new system were rolled out.
For now, all we can do now is discuss, wait and see how this new rule turns out to be.
As we know that a coin has two sides so it will be left on the readers to decide which side do they choose.