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Late equalizer in football - a suggestion for change of rule
Football is world's most popular game played in almost every country. It is a fast paced ninety minute battle giving the spectators edge-of-the-seat moments more often than not.

Rules have been changed from time to time to make the game modern, current and relevant. Earlier 2 points were awarded for every win, 1 point for a draw and no points for a loss. But it was changed to 3 points for win to encourage teams to play for exciting victories rather than dull draws. 

The system was first proposed for the English Football League by Jimmy Hill and introduced in England in 1981. Other countries were slow to adopt this, until it was used in the 1994 World Cup finals. In 1995, FIFA formally adopted the system, and it subsequently became standard in international tournaments.

Undoubtedly 3-points-for-a-win encouraged more attacking play for those 2 extra points. Both the teams will not settle for a draw if the prospect of gaining two extra points by playing for a late winning goal outweighs the prospect of losing one point by conceding a late goal to lose the match. In league stage, this becomes important.

This also helped in eliminating any possible collusion between teams needing only a draw to advance in a tournament or avoid relegation.

So in a group of 5 teams playing round robin, a team with one win, one draw and two losses will be ranked higher than another team with four draws, although both the teams will finish with 4 points each. This is the incentive given to wins. Without the system of three-point-for-win, the team with four draws would have been ranked higher. Fair enough. Win is important and should be rewarded.

3 point for a win system has made the game more attractive with more number of goals being scored compared to the past which is a welcome sign for the football fans. No one wants dull scoreless draws.

But I think there is more to be done. Imagine a match between team A and team B with team A leading 1-0 and only 10 minutes to go. Naturally team A becomes defensive to protect their lead and take the full three points. If Team B can score a goal despite the over-defensiveness of team A, then both the teams get one point each. My point is simple, is it fair?

Both the teams scored one goal each and so got one point each. What is the issue?

The issue is team A's goal is inferior to team B's goal. The late equalizer against all odds does not get the reward it deserved. Remember team A was in total defensive mode to protect their lead and thus the goal scored by team B should rank higher and should get one extra point. So instead of one point each, team B should get two points and team A should get one point.

I am suggesting to amend the rules like this:

"If a match ended in a draw due to a goal scored any time after 80 minutes of play, then the team who scored the late goal will get two points and the other will get one point."

A late equalizer is better than an early goal. This is the crux of my suggestion.

This will make the last 10 minutes (plus injury time) more exciting to watch. It will reward the team who scored the goal despite total defensiveness of opposing team with a well-deserved bonus point. It will also affect the league table and make it more competitive. No team can relax during a match and the spectators shall be thoroughly entertained and get value for their money.

To me it makes sense. Request FIFA to look into it and take a call.

What do you say?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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