Football League to trial new 'ABBA' penalty shoot-out format in knockout competitions

James Vaughan sees his penalty saved against Celtic.
James Vaughan sees his penalty saved against Celtic.
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The English Football League is introducing the new ABBA format for penalty shoot-outs in its competitions during the 2017-18 season.

Already being trialled by UEFA, the system 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 and so on instead of AB AB etc.

The EFL's trial of the format will apply to this season's Carabao Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and the play-offs, with the first opportunity for its use coming in the Carabao Cup's first round on August 8-9.

In a statement, EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: "We welcome innovation at the EFL and I am pleased to see that the EFL is able to play its part in an important development for football.

"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."