, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 411-421 (2004)

Does a sudden death liven up the game? Rules, incentives, and strategy in football

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In an effort to stimulate more attractive football, the international football association FIFA, has recently introduced the "sudden death" or "golden goal" rule for games going into extra time play. This paper analyses under which conditions, if any, the introduction of the sudden death rule improves the attractiveness of the football game. Our results indicate that the new rule will not change the behavior of equally powerful teams.

Received: 20 November 2002, Revised: 12 May 2003,

JEL Classification Numbers:

C72, L83.

A preliminary version of this paper was presented at Queens University of Belfast and University of Southampton. The authors would like to thank the seminar participants. Indraijt Ray and an anonymous reviewer for their useful comments on earlier versions of this paper. We specially thank Giulio Seccia for his constructive comments. We also acknowledge K.U. Leuven for providing research support.