Penalties could be taken at BOTH ends under plans by ex-Arsenal chief

Penalty shootouts could be taken at BOTH ends under radical plans by ex-Arsenal chief David Dein, who insists it’s ‘unfair’ to take spot kicks in front of opposition supporters

  • Former Arsenal chief David Dein wants to overhaul penalty shootouts in future 
  • Ex-UEFA committee member wants them to be taken at both ends of the pitch 
  • It’s a three-team title race… Toney could lead Arsenal to glory: It’s All Kicking Off 

Penalty shootouts could be radically overhauled under a proposal from former Arsenal chief David Dein – who wants players to take spot kicks at both ends.

The current system sees captains from both teams flipping a coin at the end of extra time if two sides cannot be separated to determine which end players will shoot at. 

But that means one team will be forced to take their spot kick in front of opposition fans – who will understandably do their best to put them off, making gestures and making loud noise – something Dein thinks is ‘unfair’. 

Dein – who formerly sat on the FIFA and UEFA competitions committees – believes he has a solution.  

‘The more I watched shootouts, the more I felt it was unfair on the team who have to take their kicks in front of the opposing fans,’ he said in his book Calling the Shots: How to Win in Football and Life by David Dein, serialised by the Sun.

Ex-Arsenal chief David Dein has unveiled plans to have penalty shootouts taken at both ends

Dein insists it’s ‘unfair’ for players to take their spot kicks in front of opposition supporters

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Dein said the logistical problem of having to travel down both ends would be eased by utilising all members of the officiating team – and said modern technology would also help the new format. 

‘I’m not asking the referee to go up and down,’ he added. ‘There’s the referee, the fourth official, and two assistants and in major finals, an assistant referee.

‘It’s not rocket science having two officiating at either end and one in the centre circle. Invariably there are 32 cameras at a major final, so the coverage will be the same.’

He added: ‘My plan is so simple I don’t understand why it’s never been done. I keep hearing the word “tradition” and, “it’s always been done like this”.

‘Well, 100 years ago buses were drawn by horses and that was “tradition”. This is progress.’

Dein said he was open to putting out a survey asking fans, coaches and players what they thought about his idea – saying it would result in a more balanced experienced for those watching a shootout and the players involved. 

Discussing what inspired his idea, he said it came after he was frustrated watching Arsenal’s shootout loss to Galatasaray in the 2000 UEFA Cup final, which saw the Gunners take their kicks in front of the Turkish side’s raucous fans.

‘So we had 20,000 Turkish fans gesticulating as our boys were taking the penalties, whistling and booing. Davor Suker missed, Ray Parlour managed to hold his nerve but then Patrick Vieira missed and we lost 4-1 on penalties. 

He said his idea came after watching Arsenal beaten by Galatasaray on penalties in the 2000 UEFA Cup final

‘At that time, I was sitting on the Uefa Club Competitions Committee. At the next meeting, I asked: ‘Why was that end chosen?’

‘Somebody replied: ‘The stadium manager decides with the police. They decided it would be safer at that end. Okay, so it’s nothing to do with the football. So I said: “Wouldn’t it be fairer if the end was chosen by a toss of the coin?”

‘The more I watched shootouts, the more I felt it was unfair on the team who have to take their kicks in front of the opposing fans.’


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It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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