Former Manchester United defender Henning Berg is of the opinion that if a team goes four goals down, they should be allowed to bring on another player – meaning a 12th man.
It’s a rather novel yet crazy-sounding idea, but the Norwegian Football Association seems to be hugely in favor of it.
Henning Berg was quoted saying, “It’s a good rule that will lead to more even matches. It’s no fun to lose 17-0. It’s no fun to win 17-0 either.”
Sounds pretty intriguing and would be interesting to see how a 12 man team works, but a couple of questions come to my innocent mind.
1. If the losing team brings on the 12th man and IF miraculously they happen to bounce back and the game goes into extra time, will the 12th man be allowed to take penalties?
2. What if a player from the losing team gets Red carded, the “12th man” doesn’t really help the cause, does it?
And then there’s the concern about substitutes – if you’re actually allowed to bring on another player, should you be allowed to substitute your players?
Kjetil Rekdal, Berg’s defensive partner for the national team had his reservations about this idea.
“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 the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang.
While it would be exciting to see how a 12 man team plays against a team that’s already up by 5 goals, it would also be important to see how fair this rule would be on the opposite team.
What do you think?