Death to the Draw!

Count me amongst the many people who have come down with a severe case of World Cup fever. I’ve been watching every minute of footy action since last Friday’s kickoff game between host South Africa and Mexico. And yet as intense as the action has been so far, the opener underscored my biggest beef with the World Cup…

The tie game.

This is sports! When the game is over, there is a winner and a loser. And yet here we are, watching what many hail as the biggest sporting event in the universe, and half of the games I’m watching don’t crown a winner. There have already been six ties since the Cup started!

I know that once we get past Group Play tie games go out the window, but why can’t we have penalty kicks for all World Cup games? Soccer fans wait four years for every World Cup, the least you can do is give them a winner in each game.

I personally think the best solution would be penalty kicks immediately following regulation of any game in Group Play. By skipping overtime in the first three games, players wouldn’t have to exert too much more energy and the fans would be able to judge a winner and a loser.

We’d also have a more accurate way of advancing teams into the Round of 16. Right now, a win is worth three points, while a tie is worth one. With all of the ties so far, all of the teams are grouped so tightly that goal differential plays way too big of a role in advancing teams to the next round. Germany already has a +4 goal differential thanks to their blowout of Australia, which means they could tie the rest of their games and still coast into the Round of 16.

Heading into Father’s Day weekend, I feel like a dad who keeps getting the same tie every year before tossing it in the back of the closet. NO! MORE! TIES!

What do you think soccer fans, am I being too harsh on the rules of soccer? Or do I have a point and you think the World Cup should consider changing its rules? Let me know in the comments!

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