FIFA to study scrapping extra time at World Cup

Geneva: 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 today 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 and Development committees
will study the issues when they both meet on October 18. The
panels will report to FIFA`s executive committee, which meets
October 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 December

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. "It`s not being
questioned internationally, also not in the FIFA executive

Europe has long been favoured 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.