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Remembering penalty shoot-out pioneer Dagan

Joseph Dagan, the former Israel Football Association (IFA) general secretary credited as playing a key role in the official launching of penalty shoot-outs, has died at the age of 93.

Joseph Dagan (right) after receiving the UEFA Order of Merit in Ruby from the then UEFA President Lennart Johansson in Stockholm in 2002.
Joseph Dagan (right) after receiving the UEFA Order of Merit in Ruby from the then UEFA President Lennart Johansson in Stockholm in 2002. ©IFA

The former Israel Football Association (IFA) general secretary, Joseph Dagan, who is credited as a major catalyst for the penalty shoot-out procedure, has passed away at the age of 93.

Dagan joined forces with the future IFA president Michael Almog to propose the use of penalty shoot-outs to decide the result of drawn matches following an Olympic football tournament match in 1968, when Israel were eliminated by Bulgaria at the quarter-final stage by the drawing of lots after a 1-1 draw.

The following year, Almog, then the chairman of the IFA technical committee before taking the helm of Israeli football, made an official proposal to the world footballing body FIFA to introduce penalty shoot-outs, and the ensuing debate led to shoot-outs being officially approved by football’s lawmakers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), in 1970.

A former sports journalist, Dagan also served the association as national coach and director of external relations. He was a key figure in Israel becoming a member of UEFA in 1994. 

Dagan was honoured by UEFA in 2002, when he received the UEFA Order of Merit in Ruby for outstanding services to football at the European body’s Stockholm Congress. “Joseph Dagan had a leading role in the growth of football in Israel, and we thank him for his contribution,“ said IFA CEO Rotem Kamer.

 

 

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