Sports Letters: Disappearing footballers

Sir: In the context of the current debate on penalties as a method of settling matches in World Cup football still drawn after extra time, would it not be a preferable solution to institute a rule whereby after every five or 10 minutes one or two players from each team, at the choice of the managers, be taken off the field? This could be instituted either during any initial period of extra time or afterwards, during a sudden-death period.

Would such a solution not add to the excitement, open up the play so that a deciding goal would be very likely after 20 or 30 minutes, and make the result depend on football skills rather than haphazard penalties?

Yours,

J I STOODLEY

Brussels

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