The extension at the end of the regular time for the Coupe de France matches has been eliminated by the French Federation (FFF), except for the final, starting next season. “From the 1st round to the semi-finals included, in the event of a draw after the regulation time, the teams will decide directly by the kick-to-goal test, under the conditions set by the Laws of the Game “, Indicates the new regulations of the Coupe de France, acted on Monday June 22 by the Executive Committee and put online this Monday.
What impact will this initiative have on the spectacle of the Coupe de France matches? What type of team, large professional team or small amateur training, will this new configuration be favorable? What do the statistics say?
First of all, there are not that many games ending in overtime. Out of 620 meetings between professional teams (Ligue 1, Ligue 2) and amateur teams (National and lower divisions) over the past ten seasons, only 82 have gone to extra time, or 13.4% of the matches.
Statistics also say that over this same period, amateurs have dropped professionals in 22% of cases at the end of regulation time. In the event of an extension, these same amateurs prevailed over the professionals in 21% of cases, after the additional 30 minutes. This tends to show that holding an extension after 90 minutes did not favor the weakest formation on paper, nor the presumed superior team. And that, somewhere, the extension was superfluous.
On the other hand, it appears that in the penalty shootout, amateurs are almost on an equal footing with the pros – with 49% of matches won on penalties. The removal of the “overtime” box to jump directly to the “penalty shootout” box would therefore tend to increase the chances of “small” teams against “big”.
Amateurs ready to bet everything on penalties?
What influence will this new configuration have on the game played in a competition cherished by spectators? The logic would be that the presumed superior teams develop more play, in order to win in regular time and save the lottery from shots on goal.
But such scenarios will also make less of the surprises that make up the Coupe de France. It is also possible that the “small” teams present themselves with the intention of closing the game, with a view to betting everything on the penalty shootout, with unfortunate consequences in terms of spectacle.
In any event, spectators will be deprived of a potential half-hour of additional suspense in the event of a parity score at the end of the 90 minutes. Between a draw and a penalty shootout, it is possible that nostalgia for the overtime may be felt.