EFL Introduces ABBA For 2017/18
The EFL yesterday confirmed that it would support the trial of the reformed ABBA penalty format for the new season.
The revised system is being supported and trialled internationally by FIFA and in some European competitions with UEFA and the ABBA system will be adopted by the Football League for this year's League Cup, EFL Trophy and for all EFL Play Offs.
The ABBA system is believed to be more fair than the current ABAB system of penalties and the trial is backed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), being their response to a hypothesis that the player taking the second kick is instantly under more pressure mentally to score in the current format.
So from ABAB we get to ABBA in an effort to remove any apparent advantage a team kicking first might have.
The whole thing sounds like a couple of bands have joined the Thunderbirds to be honest.
In basic it means the new system will work on the following basis:
1st kick - Team A
2nd kick - Team B
3rd kick - Team B
4th kick - Team A
5th kick - Team A
6th kick - Team B
7th kick - Team B
8th kick - Team A
9th kick - Team A
10th kick - Team B
11th kick - Team B
12th kick - Team A
and so on...but penalties will continue on the five efforts a piece unless a knock out process is required and then it will run until the first side misses and the other doesn't until we have a winner.
Shaun Harvey, EFL chief executive, is quoted by efl.com as saying.
'We welcome innovation at the EFL and I am pleased to see that the EFL is able to play its part in an important development for football. IFAB have identified a theory that the current arrangements for penalty kicks potentially provide an unfair advantage to the team taking the first kick so we are keen to see if the new system has an impact on one of the most discussed issues in football.'
'We all want football matches to be decided in a fair and consistent manner and I am sure the new system will add an interesting dynamic to the conclusion of matches in our competitions if required.'
The first round of this years' League Cup competition will provide the first opportunity for the new system to probably confuse most fans as they won't realise a change has been made.
I'm not sure if the Premier League has adopted this for the coming year, there might be a later statement, but chances are at least some top flight sides will have to adjust to this in the League Cup.