Irony Alert: Players Afraid Not To Kick the Ball Out, Have No Problem Diving

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

According to UEFA, players are still kicking the ball out of play when an opponent goes down injured despite directives that the responsibility to stop play now lies with the referee and they should continue until they hear a whistle. In other news, habits are hard to break and it’s still hilarious players are afraid not to play the ball out in a gentlemanly fashion but will fall over if the local air pressure changes by 1/1000th of a millibar.

Arsene Wegner says everyone is confused and ultra-protective of their reputations (snort):

“You have a conflict between the new rule, where it is left to the referee, and the old fair play attitude, which is culturally accepted in our game and which is that when a guy is really injured, you have kick the ball out,” he told reporters.

“I believe it’s right that the responsibility goes to the referee because you never know how genuine the injury is when a player is down.

“But still, we are not completely clear yet about how to behave. I say to my players to leave it to the referee, but sometimes they kick the ball out. They are scared of being unpopular or criticised by the media if they don’t do it.”

Damn you media. This is all your fault (as usual).

There’s something troubling about the need to direct teams to be less sporting, but the prevalence of simulation means players should no longer have to carry the burden of deciding if it’s appropriate to play the ball out. UEFA just needs everyone to stop being such creatures of habit.

UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh outlined the reasons for putting injury stoppages into the referees hands, and his hands alone:

“They know it should be the referee who decides and the reason that was brought in is because there was too much misuse…..sometimes a team would have a counterattack and suddenly they had to stop, that kind of thing.”

“There was a lot of misuse and when you gave the ball back, they would put it down in the far corner and would press, which was totally against sporting spirit, so this is why the referee has the responsibility to stop the game when it needs to be stopped.

“But we still get it, they put it out because it’s habit.”

I, for one, will lament the loss of the sarcastic put-out, that unique moment in a match with a player plays the ball out of touch despite his body language belying the fact that he clearly does not believe the opposing player to be injured.

While the players have their own habits to break, fans too will need to adjust their mentality about injury stoppages. Righteous indignation is kinda like a drug.

Source: Reuters

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