A penalty shootout involves a best of 5, with 5 different players (who finished the match) from each team taking shots, alternating. If both teams score the same number of goals, it goes to a sudden death, where the team that scores more goals than the opposing team within the same number of shots wins.

What if the number of eligible players is different between the teams? Wouldn't a shooter be unmatched with a shooter from the opposing team?

1 Answer 1


The team with more players nominates someone not to take a kick, thus ensuring an even number of players taking kicks.

See slide 28 on this PDF from fifa.com

  • If the penalty shootout reaches the sudden death stage, would the excluded players be allowed to participate? Or would they be considered ineligible (and not permitted to be on the pitch)?
    – unbindall
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 15:58
  • 2
    Once you've been sent off, you can play no further part in the game, so no. Slide 22 in the PDF covers this case.
    – TrueDub
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 16:28
  • 2
    The answer is effectively correct, but a number of points in the PDF you have provided are now obsolete (those slides are now nearly a decade old). Pages from the IFAB website should be used in preference to any FIFA resources from 1 June 2016. The link pertaining to this answer is here: theifab.com/#!/laws/determining-the-outcome-of-a-match/chapters/… Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 6:24

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