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Blatter: World Cup extra time changes possible

The Bizarre Mr. Blatter is at it again. His comments on the FIFA Web site concerning extra time at the World Cup:

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.

In my opinion, introducing penalties after 90 minutes would encourage inferior teams to pack it in during the second half of an even match. The golden goal was tried between 1996 and 2002, but teams seemed overly cautious in fear of conceding a match-ending goal. Perhaps the so-called "silver goal" compromise would work best: If a team is winning after the first 15-minute overtime period, the match ends.

There is no simple answer to this perpetual debate about tie matches in knockout competition. What's your opinion? Vote:

By Steve Goff  |  September 9, 2010; 8:44 AM ET
Categories:  FIFA , World  | Tags: World Cup  
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I like unlimited extra time. "Honey, I'll change the channel to Lifetime just as soon as this match is over!"

Posted by: troy6 | September 9, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

ok, which one of you voted for the "Team with most corners after 90 declared winner"? anyone? anyone? bueller?

Posted by: birdynumnum | September 9, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

FIFA never should have gotten rid of the golden goal. Even though they were actually rare - I only remember Eddie Pope in the 1st MLS Cup and a gamewinner from Bierhoff in a Euro Final - they made for some memorable finishes and slightly reduced the chance of a PK tiebreaker.

PK tiebreakers are tense and entertaining but it's better to try to find a way to decide the game from the run of play.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 9, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I thought the USA-Ghana match in South Africa was just worthless after Ghana scored in overtime. The US barely threatened at all after that, as I recall. That's one reason I vote for golden goal or silver goal.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | September 9, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

30 min extra time with a twist. Play initial 15 min per normal, but with golden goal in effect. If still tied after 15, remove one player from each team every 5 min, so the second 15 would start 10v10, go to 9v9, then finish 8v8. More space is harder to defend and likely to yield fast and furious play. PKs if needed, or just keep playing with progressive player reductions. This was suggested by Carter National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, although he suggested reducing the number of players at the start of extra time.

Posted by: lmorin | September 9, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Does Blatter just get bored?

Posted by: Reignking | September 9, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

LMAO, "Unlimited extra time, remove a player periodically"

Imagine a game going down to the keepers. A true one on one battle.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 9, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Increase the number of substitutions in extra time of Silver Goal, then PKs.

Posted by: SoyUnited | September 9, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Other ideas

Bronze Goal: If only one team scores in the first 15' of OT, then teams would play another 15' with the 2X away goal rule in effect.

Proliferation: vKeep the 11 v 11, but add a ball every 5 minutes.

Thierry Henry: Allow handballs in OT.

Donald Trump: After 120', hold a pageant. Team with the hottest WAG wins.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 9, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Shrink the field.

Posted by: Reignking | September 9, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse


Called into womens national team camp:
Sarah Huffman (Freedom) Ali Krieger, Joanna Lohman, Lori Lindsey (not Freedom)

Not called into camp: Cat Whitehill.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 9, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Have Blatter stand on the goal line and let the teams alternate in shooting the ball at him from the spot. First shot to hit him in the mouth wins.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 9, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Tug-of-war using Jack Warner.

Posted by: Reignking | September 9, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

one of the things I really enjoy about hockey playoffs is the "unlimited time" - that the thing is going to keep going until there's a winner. Really makes for some great marathon games. I know there's a lot of differences between hockey and soccer, but I say bring on unlimited time! Last man standing/not cramping wins!

Posted by: nairbsod | September 9, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what plan you implement. Inferior teams are going to play defensively in a tie game. You'd have to fundamentaly alter the game to change that dynamic.

But perhaps there is a serious issue that could be addressed by our federations and coaching staffs. I mean, winning the game seems to me enough incentive to try to score. Too many coaches implement a deadly defensive style, which simply becomes their modus operendi. Doesn't matter who you're playing or what's at stake, they just play defensive and counter. Seems to me that's the real blight on the face of futbol.

Posted by: Matte | September 9, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Removing a player every 5 minutes of extra time is an interesting idea. 10-v-10 might not break a deadlock, but once you get 8-v-8 or fewer, there would be so much space on the field that a break-through would come well before it got ridiculous, 3-v-3, for example.

What about taking the pens at the beginning of extra time? It would force the side that scores fewer penalty kicks to attack, even if their favored tactic is to pack it in and be defensive.

Posted by: gooner71 | September 9, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 9, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I know! Instead of overtime, they could use 90-minute-review, instead of instant review, and give teams the goals they should've been awarded.

Posted by: Reignking | September 9, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

i like gooner71's idea. has FIFA or UEFA or whoever ever brought that one up as a serious consideration?

Posted by: birdynumnum | September 9, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

A problem with silver goal (and golden goal too, for that matter) is that it kills the symmetry of each team playing an equal amount of time on each side of the pitch. All it takes is one key game where sun or other conditions makes one side arguably more favorable than the other and the complaining will be like a swarm of vuvuzelas. 30 mins. + PKs may not be ideal, but at least it's fair.

Posted by: asfoolasiam | September 9, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Golden goal unlimited OT

Posted by: mcontento | September 9, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Extra time with SUBSTITUTIONS. At least one per 15 minute period. That will also encourage an earlier third sub in regular time. May the deeper bench win.

Posted by: weliveindc | September 9, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I suppose one could address the symmetry issue by playing a modified version of golden goal: if a team scores in the first half of overtime, the teams immediately switch sides and play an equal amount of time in the opposite direction. I.e., if a team scores 3:50 into overtime, they need to defend the opposite goal for 3:50 themselves.

If a team scores in the second half of overtime, the game ends. After all, the losing team cannot complain when they've had an even longer time to attack the end where the goal was scored.

(There is still the problem, however, that golden goal takes the ability to end a game out of the hands of the referee, which can be a safety concern.)

Posted by: asfoolasiam | September 9, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

lmorin has it right. Remove the keepers, either right away or after ten minutes of extra time. Remove a player from each team every five minutes thereafter. Sudden death.

Start every five minute period with a drop ball in the center circle rather than a kickoff, with each team having one player each in the circle.

Adjustments to the offside rules and penalty kicks would be necessary during this period. With regard to a penalty, I would suggest the following: the conceding team is allowed to bring a goalkeeper in to try and stop the penalty. If he does so, he can stay on the field for the remainder of that five minute period.

Posted by: amoffett1 | September 9, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy soccer field symmetry?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 9, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

If the idea is to encourage free-flowing play in extra time, removing players is counterproductive. Players will already be exhausted after 90+ minutes of play, and giving them more area to cover will only exacerbate the fact. Instead of teams attacking space, you'll see both teams opting to surrender position and retreat even further into a bunker, with a loan striker forward to receive long balls. It would be a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

Posted by: asfoolasiam | September 9, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

90 mins straight to PKs was used in the Superliga this year. If that even matters.

Posted by: revsfanindc | September 9, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@ weliveindc:

Your idea is brilliant. Adding fresh attackers is MUCH more likely to result in open, positive play than giving already-exhausted attackers more work to do.

Posted by: asfoolasiam | September 9, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse


Citing the Jimmy Carter administration is not a credibility-enhancer.

Posted by: benonthehill | September 9, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I do like the "add an extra ball every five minutes" idea too. That would be awesome to watch, but hell to play.

Posted by: revsfanindc | September 9, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

doesn't golden goal just encourage teams to play even more defensively?

I like the idea of keeping it the way it is, but give each team 1 or 2 more subs. That way some fresher players can get out there. And it rewards, potentially, the deeper team.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 9, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

9 v 9 with unlimited substitutions.

Or, heckwiddit, just eliminate the offside rule.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | September 9, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 9, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The team whose FIFA country code comes later in alphabetical order wins.

Posted by: BooThisMan | September 9, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

9 v 9 with unlimited substitutions.

But, seriously, this seems like the best idea proffered so far.

Posted by: BooThisMan | September 9, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

As my high school team marched through the NJ state championships in 1976 winning several games on corner kicks, I have a special spot in my heart for that way of resolving matches. But in reality I have no problem with penalty kicks to resolve games. If people think that has no relation to the best team, then perhaps turn overtime into a fitness contest with only 6 players on a side with no offsides.

Posted by: GeneWells | September 9, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I am for Sudden Death OT after until there is a winner.

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | September 9, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

A shootout. Literally a shootout. Ensures Hahnemann's place on the team through 2040.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 9, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Want to encourage attacking soccer...reward attacking soccer. During group play...the team with the most shots on goal in a tie get either a win or an extra point. I'm thinking win because an extra point might not be enough incentive to attack when tactically playing for a tie in a mismatch makes the most sense. In elimination play...silver goal...most shots on goal at the end of overtime wins.

Posted by: tim21 | September 9, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I don;t think this is a problem in the knockout stages. After all, this is football and football. It's a game of endurance and being very physically fit. Wanna hold out for penalties...let's see if you can do it for 120 minutes.

Now for the group stages, I agree. The defensive nature has gotten out of hand. In South Africa, it seemed like all the lower teams were playing for draws. So, like someone said above, reward offensive stats when determining tie breakers.

Posted by: tundey | September 9, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

What's the problem with PKs? I love the excitement of it. Sure it sucks when my team loses but losing in any way sucks. The current system gives both teams a good chance to win the match. And at the same time it offers a guarantee of results.

Posted by: tundey | September 9, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

1st 30 minutes are 10vs10. No scoring? Next 30 min are 9vs9.....and so on until there is a winner. The field would open up, guys would get exhausted opening the field even more. There would be multiple breakaways. Allowing teams to play for ties, well, it leads to ties.
Of course there would have to be a revision to the substitution policy.

Posted by: marksman37 | September 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I stumbled on this last year while watching qualifiers, FWIW:

The idea is that it's basically the NASL/MLS shootout with a defender.

Goff is right on though, PKs benefit weaker teams by giving them a better chance in a skills contest than they would have in regular play. Removing extra time just helps these weaker teams realize this benefit more often.

"What's the problem with PKs?," - Tundey

As a tie breaking method if you are comparing PK's to drawing lots, PK's are slightly better. But is there a way to break ties that would rely less on luck than PK's?

I think the MLS/NASL shootout is better, I think the ADK alternative I linked above is better than PKs, but I think there should be a priority on settling games though "regular play", this isn't the world cup of shootouts . The '94 final had great teams, but it sucked to see a champion crowned on PKs.

So if I were deciding, I would do the following for must-advance matches that are tied after the 2nd half.

1) After a 10 minute intermission, two 15 minute periods each way (like present)
2) If still tied, up to two 15 minute periods each way with golden goal rule.
3) Some shootout tiebreaker (PK, MLS, ADG, etc...)

So now weak teams will have to play 150 minutes (twice as much extra time) of scoreless play to gain a shootout. To add another wrinkle, perhaps allow teams to start extra time with any lineup (bring back players subbed out, use many player from the bench etc..), perhaps this will benefit deeper teams.

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | September 9, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Soccer and Hockey have the same problem of a "crowded" playing area.

I agree with the sentiment that removing players will just tire players out. Think about it, if you take it to an absurd extreme like 6 on 6, that means everyone covers twice the area on the pitch.

I think getting more subs in extra time is a better approach.

Some talk of using statistical measures, I think shots on target, corner kicks would have their pluses and minuses.

What about goalkeeper with the least time of possession? Even if attacking teams don't score goals, anything a team does that forces the opposing keeper to play the ball is positive. Furthermoe, anything a team does to keep the ball away from their own keeper is positive. This also encourages goalkeepers to release the ball into play as quickly as possible.

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | September 9, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Other idea:

Reduce the size of the field, and play 5 v5 with keepers for 2 15-minute periods. If still tied at that point, play golden goal. Under this model, the game is still decided on the field; there will be some great individual plays and goals; there will be no PK's; and the game will not go on indefinitely.

Posted by: gmoore1 | September 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Simple solution. No points for 0-0 ties. That will give both teams an incentive to attack from the start. After that games will be entertaining enough to require no changes.

Posted by: neil_g | September 9, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. Widen the goalmouth so that teams can win soccer games by (gasp) actually playing soccer. In the unlikely event that a World Cup final is, say, a 6-6 draw after 120 minutes, then whatever. Golden goal, flip a coin ... it won't happen.

Posted by: Groff | September 9, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

30 minutes extra time. Goalies can't use hands.

Posted by: Alsatian1 | September 10, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

The severed head method might offer incentive to score. It works like this:

Take five random fans of each team and hold them hostage. For every 5 mins of scorless play, a fan from each team is beheaded and the severed heads are placed on top of their goal. The severed heads become part of the goal and if you knock one off the goal with the ball, it counts as a goal.

If still tied after all hostages are beheaded you flip a coin but the player who picks wrong is also beheaded.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | September 10, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

30 min + NASL/early MLS shootout instead of PKs

Posted by: spidergoose | September 10, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

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