More points for opening matches, less yawning
The World Cup is under way and with it the traditionally lifeless opening group matches with teams happy to settle for a draw, fearful all could be lost in only the first encounter.
But that could change for ever with one magic swipe. Teams that win their first match in the group phase should be awarded four points for victory compared to the current three, and all but make sure of a spot in the second round. That would give teams a great incentive to play entertaining, attacking football instead of the drab game we saw between Uruguay and France in Group A on Friday. After all this is the World Cup.
World Cup opening matches should not feel like a bad date. You have waited so long for this moment but when it comes it is all you did not want to see. Teams playing safe, scared coaches piling bodies into midfield to avoid a fast break from their opponents and happy to settle for a point. But that is not what the World Cup should be about. You get that week in week out in domestic league matches. Let’s up the ante and see how teams will react to the bigger prize on offer.
PHOTO: Uruguay’s Diego Godin (L) battles for the ball with France’s Thierry Henry during the 2010 World Cup Group A soccer match at the Green Point stadium in Capetown June 11, 2010. REUTERS/Oleg Popov