As for a penalty kicks toÂ decide a game, it’s an integral part of the game now but has not always been that way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penalty_shootout_(football)#History.Â So why couldn’t it be changed by FIFA?Â Is that governing body so stuck in its rut?[/quote]
Sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant penalty kicks, not penalty shootout being an integral part of the game. Shooting the ball past the keeper and into the net is the whole point of the game. It’s not unreasonable, when extra time has failed to determine a winner, that this “whole point of the game” be used to decide which team has the better skills.
It’s not a coin toss or crap shoot. If a national team can’t field 5 players that can score (or at least hit the target and not miss completely), then you have to question if they really deserve to win. Especially if their opponents can perform this basic skill better than they can.
It’s not like they’re deciding all games based on this, only those that are tied, and tied after extra time. At that point, you can say the teams are pretty even, so why not decide based on skill? France didn’t deserve to win, sorry, because one of their players couldn’t score.
As for FIFA not willing to change, that’s not fair either. They’ve been through a lot of changes, but evolution is better than revolution in this type of thing. Remember the golden goal rules? Why did they get rid of that?
I think what you’re not liking about soccer is that it rewards teams that are good at penalty kicks, and teams that are good defensively.
Is that a bad thing?
Your suggestions about how to “improve” the game are basically suggestions about how to increase the amount goal scoring, are they not? But if goal scoring is a good thing, then it isn’t unreasonable to suggest that the ability to score a goal (in a penalty kick) is a skill that can determine which team deserves to win.
Was the Netherlands “better” than Italy in your example? No. They weren’t. Italy played better defensively, and in the end, they played the shootout better. They were the better team.
I think when Portugal and England have gone to the penalty shootout, the English fans have always groaned, because they know England sucks at the shootout. Well, that’s something to consider: a national team can’t field 5 players who can score a penalty kick? They don’t deserve to proceed, do they? A national team that can field a keeper that can stop 3 penalties, they deserve to proceed, don’t they?