England just got knocked out of yet another World Cup following a penalty shoot-out. This time England only scored 1 out of 4 which is a poor result even for a team that are hopeless at penalties.
Of the World Cup matches I’ve watched, the actual football and the footballers seem to only be partially responsible for the result. In just about every game there are controversial refereeing decisions, such as awarded penalties, sendings off and disallowed goals that have an enormous influence on the outcome. In many of these instances, slow-motion replays show that the ref got it wrong. Where the referee fails to decide the outcome in 120 minutes of football, we change games and decide the result on penalties instead. This strikes me as a travesty when so few players in a team are supposedly goal scorers. There’s also the issue that football is a team game, whilst penalty shoot-outs are one-against-one. They might as well settle things over a round of golf or a darts leg.
Who will win the World Cup, the best football team or those who can dive most convincingly and score penalties? There has to be a better way surely.