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Injury Breaks Kicked Into Touch

August 20, 2006

Wenger and Jol” The Premier League has asked players, managers and referees to end the custom of the ball being kicked out of play when a player goes down injured.

Decisions on whether a break in play is necessary for treatment to be received will now be taken by the referee.

But the Football League told BBC Sport it had no plans to make changes.

The custom has gradually established itself in football over the years, but has never been formalised in the rules.

But the feeling that this “gentlemen’s agreement” was being taken advantage of has become widespread, with frequent breaks in play at the 2006 World Cup cited as the most high-profile abuse.

Managers and players complained of situations where the ball was kicked out for non-existent injuries in order to stop a team’s attacking momentum.

And the arbitrary nature of the convention has led to several flashpoints in recent years.

Last season, Arsenal’s crucial Premiership match against Tottenham was marred by scenes of managers Arsene Wenger and Martin Jol squaring up on the sidelines.

Wenger was furious when Spurs did not put the ball out of play after Emmanuel Eboue and Gilberto Silva were injured in the build-up to Robbie Keane’s goal. “

A positive step in the battle against cheating players. A ‘gentleman’s agreement’ stops being worthy of it’s name when one of the parties act in an unsporting manner, which is exactly what has been happening, especially at the World Cup.

Whatever is decided, it should be written into the laws of the game, because at the moment, this issue is so open for interpretation that you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Let’s remove this matter of debate so we can concentrate on more important things.

Like booing Ronaldo.

~ TranceFixed

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