FIFA to study scrapping extra time at World Cup
FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants the governing body of football to consider scrapping extra time at the 2014 World Cup to encourage attacking ambition after seeing too much defensive tactics in South Africa.
Blatter said Thursday that he wants to stop teams from being defensive when they are even after 90 minutes in a knockout match ''in an attempt to avoid conceding a goal at all costs.''
''To prevent this, we could go directly to a penalty shootout at full time, or reintroduce the golden goal rule,'' Blatter said in an interview published on FIFA's website.
The golden goal rule applied at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, in which the first goal of extra time decides the game.
Blatter also is unhappy with some teams' negative approach in their first group matches at the recent World Cup.
''We witnessed some teams that went out to avoid defeat, that were playing for a draw from the outset,'' Blatter said. ''We have to try to find a way to encourage free-flowing football in tournaments like the World Cup, with teams playing to win.''
FIFA's Football and Technical & Development committees will study the issues when they both meet on Oct. 18. The panels will report to FIFA's executive committee, which meets Oct. 28-29 in Zurich.
The football committee is chaired by Franz Beckenbauer, who captained and coached West Germany to World Cup titles and now sits on FIFA's 24-man executive committee. Other members include playing greats Pele, Bobby Charlton and Roger Milla.
The technical panel is chaired by Oceania confederation president Reynald Temarii, a former professional player in France. It includes Carlos Bilardo, who coached Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, and former players Romario of Brazil and Jomo Sono of South Africa.
The 2014 World Cup tournament will be played in Brazil.
At its meeting next month, FIFA's executive is also expected to decide on the voting procedure it will use when electing the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host nations on Dec. 2.
Blatter has given a strong hint that 2018 will be awarded to one of the four European bids which are competing with the United States.
''The way it looks now, the Europeans can more than hope for the 2018 World Cup,'' Blatter was quoted as saying in an interview for German weekly Sport-Bild. ''It's not being questioned internationally, also not in the FIFA executive committee.''
Europe has long been favored for 2018 because the two previous tournaments will have been played elsewhere. It has England, Russia and joint bids from the Netherlands-Belgium and Spain-Portugal in the race.
The other countries bidding for the 2022 World Cup are Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea.