When it comes to wacky rule changes in the game of football/futbol/soccer, we Americans typically have the market cornered. MLS started with a clock that counted down and shootouts to decide ties, a legacy of the old NASL (which had its own odd take on penalties). Suddenly, though, there is a new contender for strange rule innovators: Norway, whose FA is proposing an “extra player” rule for teams who go down four goals. This would beat out anything the Yanks have concocted.
Former Norwegian international Henning Berg thinks this is a swell idea, while Aalesund coach Kjetil Rekdal isn’t so sure.
“It’s a good rule that will lead to more even matches,” said Berg, who was capped 100 times by Norway. “It’s no fun to lose 17-0. It’s no fun to win 17-0 either.”
Aalesund coach Kjetil Rekdal, who often partnered Berg in defence for the national side, was less enthusiastic.
“It can be positive to get more (people) active, but it can be negative if you destroy or punish those who are better,” he told Verdens Gang.
No, losing 17-0 isn’t fun, but I beg to differ on the winning 17-0 thing. Does this happen a lot in Norway?
I’m not sure compacting the available space on the field with another player is a great idea, but it certainly would be an advantage. What happens when the first team to get the extra players comes back and wins 5-4? I’ll tell you what would happen: Norwegian shit storm.
Reuters has amended their original story to make it clear that this rule change would apply for youth soccer only. That’s way less fun, but it does make a lot more sense.