Abolish penalty shoot-outs, Cameron jokes in Germany

Friday 29 May 2015

FIFA should not only do away with Sepp Blatter but put an end to penalty shoot-outs as well, British Prime Minister David Cameron joked on Friday at a news conference in Berlin with Germany's Angela Merkel.

After telling a news conference that the FIFA president should step aside over allegations of corruption in soccer's world governing body, Cameron offered a self-deprecating joke about England's penalty shoot-out trauma in big tournaments, where they almost always lose -- and often to Germany.

"I don't think there's anything else to add on the footballing issue -- though, of course, perhaps it's an opportunity to say that we should have no more penalty shoot-outs," Cameron deadpanned.

"I think in future we should just keep playing for as long as it takes so we level the playing field between Britain and Germany - the two greatest footballing nations on earth."

Since penalty shoot-outs were introduced in big tournaments, England have lost all three World Cup penalty shoot-outs and three of the four European Championship tournaments.

Germany, by contrast, have won all four World Cup shoot-outs and two of the three European Championship shootouts while converting a near-perfect 17 penalties in 18 attempts.

In direct match-ups, Germany have inflicted deep pain on England by eliminating them twice in the semi-finals on penalties: At the 1990 World Cup before Germany went on to win the championship, and again at the 1996 European Championship when they knocked out the hosts.

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