Arsenal defeated Chelsea 4 – 1 on penalties to win the 2017 FA Community Shield on Sunday. The penalty shootout witnessed a slight change as a new format was tested.

Prior to Sunday’s game, The English FA in a release stated that the new ABBA format would be trialed if there is any need for penalty shootout to determine the winner

“The FA has today announced that a different order of kicks for Kicks from the Penalty Mark (KFPM) will be trialed at Sunday’s FA Community Shield supported by McDonald’s – the first time the new format will be used competitively in the country,” the FA said in a statement last week.

The format, dubbed ABBA format is based on the format used in tennis tie-breaks, with the team taking the first kick in each pair of kicks alternating, so AB BA AB BA and so on instead of AB AB AB AB etc.

So instead of the traditional style where each team takes spot kicks one after the other, the second team goes ahead to take two kicks after the first kick by the first team

The controversial new system has been tested on the international stage and in a couple of pre-season friendlies with the endorsement of the world football governing body, FIFA, UEFA and the International Football Association Board, IFAB.

WHY a new format?

According to the English Football League Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, the new format was introduced to reduce the mental pressure on players taking a second kick in the traditional format which many stakeholders believe give advantage to the first team that scored first.

It is believed that football penalty shoot-outs give an unfair psychological advantage to the team that shoots first and therefore made the second team to be under a certain pressure.

“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.”

ABBA Explained

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…

The new format will be used across all English Football League tournaments from this season and playoffs at the end of the season.

Author: Cerebral Lemon