Friday Kickoff: Blatter looks to eliminate penalties, Beckham to be honored & more

Friday Kickoff: Blatter looks to eliminate penalties, Beckham to be honored & more

Euro 2012

Friday Kickoff: Blatter looks to eliminate penalties, Beckham to be honored & more


PKs (Getty Images)

If you are in the group of fans that cannot stand that important matches can come down to a penalty shootout, you are not alone. The president of FIFA has your back.

Sepp Blatter called for an alternative solution to penalty shootouts at the FIFA Congress in Budapest, saying that, ''Football should not go to one to one, because when football goes to penalty kicks, it loses its essence as a team sport.'' 

Blatter charged Franz Breckenbauer, head of the FIFA Football Task Force 2014, to come up with a more viable solution, with the topic being timely after Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League title by edging Bayern Munich on penalties.

Here are a few more stories to kick off your Friday:


Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham won't be suiting up for England when the Three Lions face Belgium on June 2, but he'll be a big part of the festivities at Wembley Stadium.

Beckham will be among those getting honored by the FA at halftime for having at least 100 caps for England. Beckham, who has not played for England since 2009, has 115 caps to his name and remains an ambassador for the country's national team. He'll be joined by the likes of Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton during the ceremony. The honor won't conflict with any Galaxy matches, as the Galaxy don't have a league match until June 17 after this weekend. The club has a U.S. Open Cup match against the Carolina RailHawks on May 29 and would have a fourth-round match on June 5 should it get by the NASL side. 

Beckham's international soccer days are not completely sealed, as he is still expected to be named to Team Great Britain's Olympic squad when Stuart Pearce narrows down his roster in the coming weeks.


Pep Guardiola will coach his final game for Barcelona on Friday, as he looks to go out with some more silverware in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao. Speaking to reporters, Guardiola left open the possibility for his return to the sideline after he gets some much-needed time off.

"I will be pleased to receive their calls, of course, but for the next months I have to charge my batteries, charge my mind," Guardiola said. "I'm going to rest and then I will wait and, when I will be ready, if one club wants me, if they seduce me, I will train again."


Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy's hopes of representing his country at Euro 2012 have gone up in smoke.

The Canaries goalkeeper broke a finger in training and has been ruled out for the tournament. In his place, Roy Hodgson has tabbed untested 19-year-old Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at League Two club Cheltenham Town. Butland does not have a cap with the senior national team, though he has been a part of the youth set up in England for years.

Butland will be third on England's depth chart behind Joe Hart and Robert Green.


Do you agree with Blatter and think that games should not come down to penalties? What do you make of Beckham being honored in England? Do you see Guardiola ultimately being convinced to coach somewhere in 2012-2013? Are you surprised that England would not turn to a more experienced option to replace Ruddy?

Share your thoughts below.

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