The winner takes it all – ABBA shoot-out style to be trialed in EFL Cup

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The EFL Cup will conduct a trial of the 'ABBA' penalty shoot-out format during the 2017-18 season in a move welcomed by the body's CEO

A change in the format of penalty shoot-outs is to be trialled in the EFL Cup in the coming season.

The standard 'ABAB' running order will be replaced by an 'ABBA' sequence during knockout matches in the EFL Cup, the EFL Trophy and the football league play-offs.

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In simple terms, it will see one team start the shoot-out before the opposition takes two penalties, and the running order will continue in the same alternating pattern.

The decision has been made following claims backed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), suggesting that players of teams taking the second kicks in shoot-outs are under far greater pressure.

Shaun Harvey, EFL chief executive, said in a statement: “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.

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"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."

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