English Football League to Trial 'ABBA' Shootout Format in 2017-18 Season

Monday July 31st, 2017

In an effort to make penalty shootouts more fair for both teams taking part, attempts to integrate the 'ABBA' approach to the spot-kick showdown have taken further steps forward. The pioneering system will be implemented across all English Football League competitions in the 2017/18 season.

As reported by BBC Sport, the system will be introduced to all competitions which can involve penalty shootouts - which encompasses the Checkatrade Trophy, the Carabao Cup and the EFL League play-offs.

The system is believed to fairer than traditional penalty shootouts, which give the advantage to the side who takes the first penalty. If they score, then the pressure is immediately heaped upon the opposing side. Much like the tie-break system in tennis, the 'ABBA' system sees the first team take a penalty, followed by two from the opposition, and so on until there is a winner.

A coin toss will still be used to choose which team will take the first penalty and the 'ABBA' sequence will continue even if the shootout progresses to the sudden death stage. 

UEFA successfully trialled the system in the Euro Women's Under-17 semi-final in May, where Germany, as they have quite the knack for doing so, won the shoot-out against Norway.

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