European coaches want extra time scrapped
LONDON — Top European soccer coaches discussed the prospect of scrapping extra-time at a Uefa summit in Nyon on Wednesday.
The prospect of drawn matches going straight to penalties in competitions such as the Champions League and European Championship was discussed.
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is now Uefa’s coaching ambassador, said he didn’t like seeing tired players “walking” around the pitch during extra-time.
“I don’t think we like to see players exhausted in extra-time and when the whistle goes at the end of 90 minutes, I’ve always the feeling it’s going to go to penalty kicks,” he said.
“You saw in the last Champions League final, players walking about... it’s inevitable that it goes to penalty kicks so the question is how we can improve it?”
Uefa’s chief technical officer Ioan Lupescu added: “Some coaches said it could be direct to penalties, others thought that could be an advantage for the smaller teams who could defend more.
“One thing that is very clear is that these days the players play so many matches and we raised the question whether from their point of view it is still worthwhile having extra-time.”
Drawn matches in the Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, do not go to extra-time.
New United manager Jose Mourinho and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger both attended the meeting in Switzerland, which is designed to provide a forum for elite coaches to discuss the major issues impacting the game across the continent. — The Mirror
Sir Alex Ferguson