Your Verdict: Babbling Blatter

April 28, 2004
By Dominic Raynor
(Archive)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has proposed scrapping draws in soccer, saying every game should have a winner.

His latest hairbrained idea suggested that matches should be decided by a penalty shoot-out in the case of a draw.

'Every game should have a winner,' Blatter said. 'Penalties remain the best way to decide a game in the case of a draw but if anybody has a better idea, I am ready to listen to it.'

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Blatteroon: Blat`ter*oon"\, n. [L. blatero, -onis.] A senseless babbler or boaster. [Obs.] ``I hate such blatteroons.'' --Howell.

He should shut up, although I kind of agree with his view against video refereeing.
Bryan

Sepp Blatter's proposal to do away with the draw and send every match to penalties is an absurdity. As an American who has suffered through numerous NASL and MLS extra time schemes, I applauded MLS when they abandoned their golden goal extra time for this season. Finally, I thought, Americans are confident to play the beautiful game the way it should be played.

Now Blatter comes up with this nonsense. Football is about a season of achievement, not one single match. Imagine being a Norwich supporter next season in the EPL. Your club is embroiled in a relegation battle and wonderfully manages to take a crucial point at Highbury. But no -- Sepp says every game must have a winner so it's on to penalties. Up step Henry, Pires, Bergkamp, Vieira, Edu and down goes Norwich. Ninety minutes of hard work thrown away because their five individuals have beaten your five; never mind that your TEAM played superbly.

Penalties have their place: in cup competition. But for regular season football, let's keep the rhythm of the season the way it is. Perhaps it's time for Sepp Blatter to step down and spend his golden years ogling female footballers in hot pants.
James Barton

This man is a total eejit. Any co-ordination between his brain and his speech is pure "simulation". In order to retain any credibility FIFA should muzzle this clown in public as he has become an embarrassment to the game we all love and cherish. His comments make as much sense as an ESPN Champions League commentary.

He's just a portly, pompous wee dictator. All football fans should begin impeachment proceedings now and kick him well and truly over the bar!
Craig

The proposal to scrap draws by Mr.Blatter is stupid. The Hong Kong Football Association tested the idea about 15 years ago in the professional football league. Winning team gets 3 points. The team winning and loosing the penalty shoot out after draw gets 2 points and 1 point respectively.

What's the outcome? Every team in the leaguebdevoted most of the training time to practise penalty kicks and play for a draw at 90 minutes. They hoped for the easier 2 points rather than going out to win the match in 90 minutes. The average attendance dropped sharply and the idea was scrapped after 3 years of failure...
Henricus, Hong Kong

What goes through Sepp Blatter's mind? A draw is still an important part of the game particularly in domestic competitions, how often do we hear the expression "No team deserved to lose".

Obviously with Knock-Out Cup tournaments a result has to be forthcoming. I see nothing wrong with the away goals counting as double if both legs finish as draws and if both legs are identical play the "Golden Goal" rule. The game should be decided by Goals not Penalties.

Mr. Blatter should concentrate on the Officials interpreting the rules of the game consistently rather than looking for rules to change.
Dennis Andrews

Is Sepp Blatter completely insane? Well, of course, yes, but his desire to decide every game on penalties proves it to any doubting Thomases. We all understand that penalties are the intrinsically-football related equivalent to a coin toss (unless you're playing Germany, in which case you're about to lose), but in a tournament the problem of scheduling often leaves no choice. They are an unfortunate but practical way of saying that neither side deserves to go through so we'll pick one at random and boot the other team out. But imagine randomly rewarding teams after a normal Saturday afternoon league fixture?

How many teams will decide that their best chance of staying up is by winning as many shoot-outs as they can? And think of the poor players spending hours upon hours on mind-numbing penalty drills. Are these really the skills we, the ticket-buying public, want them to develop when they can't even properly trap a ball?

The esteemed Mr Blatter asks if there is a better alternative. Thanks for asking. Take the 5 players selected to take the penalties and instead play an extra-time of 5 a side, with no goalies and no player allowed inside the 5-yard box. Yes, it would be a little silly, but in general the team with the best players would score first, and it wouldn't take them very long. If it did, feel free to take one player off every 5 minutes. Just promise me you'll do this in tournaments but never in league play.
William Hayward, Hong Kong

Sepp Blatter has to be joking, perhaps we should scrap the games altogether and go straight to penalties. The game has been around a lot longer than Blatter and its delicate structure should not be interfered with. Who knows quite what makes this game work. Why should we seek to change something that is so fundamentally right. FIFA once again demonstrate how out of touch they are.
Richard Bell, Dubai

Sepp Blatter may not be the world's most favourite person but he is right when he says football needs to end in a result. I, however, think there are far better ways then penalty shoot outs. What about the size of the goals? This to me seems like the most sensible way to go. The only problem with football is that it is the world biggest sport, so it is not challenged enough to adapt to change. Goalkeepers are bigger now then they have ever been in the past. Isn't it time to make the game more exciting by encouraging more scoring during the game?

I grew up in Australia and only discovered football (soccer as it is call here blah) when living in England 5 years ago. Since then I have enjoy football and watch game after game. But it needs more goals if it wants to compete with other sports. Australian Rules Football is the most exciting game in the world and we rarely have draws. The high number of goals create drama and opportunity for teams. Football is the greatest game in the world but it can be hard to sell to people when they see a 0 all scores line.
Heath Flannagan

Stupidest idea I ever heard. It would lead to even more defensive football. Now, a team can defend all day, and walk away with a point. Under Blatter's idea, a team could spend all day with 11 men in its own penalty area, and still walk away with all the points!
Chris Trevers

This Americanisation of Football has gone far enough. We must have a winner is a particularly North American point of view. What's next after no draws? Thirds instead of Halves? Don't laugh, it was proposed seriously by the advertisers during the World Cup in the USA to allow them to spend more time hawking their wares.

Beware Mr. Blatter he is obviously a delusional egoist who seriously believes he actually owns football and can therefore do anything he likes with it - which seems to be do anything to sell it to the Americans - to increase his perceived powerbase. It's time he found out that we, the fans, own football, We The People as the Americans like to say, and without our loyalty and our regular attendance, there is no professional football.
Kevin Lee

Football does not need to change, those who love the game like it the way it is. We do not want the game adapted to become more saleable to people who currently have no interest in it - who cares what non-football people think about football.

It is already the biggest sport in the World and has been played under the current structure for well over 100 years. I fail to see the problem with what FIFA undoubtedly call a 'product'.
Norman Vuxen

The worry I have about this proposal is that it will result in boring 0-0 draws as each team tries to prevent the opposition from winning. Then close to the end of normal time a number of "penalty specialists" will come from the subs bench to ensure success in the penalty competition. Perhaps an adjustment in the points awarded would help. Bonus points for goals scored perhaps, along with an extra point for a win in normal time might help.

However the draw is an accepted result in football and should not be lightly discarded. Even in knock-out tournaments a draw means a replay at the home of the visiting team and many small clubs have welcomed the extra revenue that such fixtures bring in. Are there too many games these days? Surely when players were paid a lot less money in the past the league sizes in England at least were greater than they are today and as a result there were more domestic games.

Perhaps the need to play on the European stage in front of TV cameras is what is dominating the thinking and not the entertainment of the fans that pay to be at the games!
Bob

I cannot believe Sepp Blatter is advocating the old American MLS system of forcing a result in every game. This philosophy was born from the necessity to make football "more exciting" for an audience unfamiliar with its intricacies, and who found the lack of scoring "boring". Surely Mr. Blatter doesn't find the game boring, does he?

Perhaps he does, and that's why he feels compelled to make things more exciting by opening his mouth in inappropriate situations. With football more popular on the world stage than it ever has been in history, I get the distinct impression Mr. Blatter, to borrow something else from the Americans, that it ain't broke. Please, sir, don't try to fix it.
Paul Knox, Australia

Sepp Blatter is extremely dangerous & a threat to the game that we know and love. He is constantly trying to tinker with the rules when they need to be left as they are. Why should there be a winner in every game? Some games are real thrillers and a share of the spoils is a suitable outcome. The change, a few years back, giving 3 points for a win (instead of 2) was a good move that stopped the bore draws.

The sooner Blatter is deposed the better. Lets have Beckenbauer or Platini who at least have played the game at the highest level and will not be countenancing changes willy-nilly to pander to television.
David Matthews

I am really disappointed at the level of intelligence of Blatter. Has this man ever played football? if games are decided by penalties, what is to stop a team from concentrating on having the best defence and most rugged midfielders and play for a draw. Once the draw is reached, the players who are specifically trained day in and day out to take penalties (same defenders, perhaps) will take charge. This is an idea which will kill the game.
Patrick Azadian, USA

I have reckoned for years that the best way to decide a result of a game in the event of a draw, is at the end of 90 mins, remove a player from each side and move into a golden goal scenario. Then go on and remove a player every 5-10mins, until eventually you may have a 1 on 1!

Would provide brilliant excitement for the crowds, add a new tactical edge for the managers and ensure that the better footballing side won the game.

As for every game having a winner; some of the best games I have seen have been 0-0 draws, so why do we need a winner anyway? Ultimately, only one team will win the league or cup.
Russell Dark

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