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Premiership Calls Time on 'Injury Breaks'
BBC Sport, August 19th, 2006 8:35AM
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The English Premier League has asked players, managers, and referees to stop kicking the ball out of play when a player goes down injured. "There was a general feeling that this player-led convention had gone too far," a Premier League spokesman told BBC Sport, adding that match officials should decide whether to break play. Because the custom is not a formal rule, the Premier League has to implore players to make the changes. The widespread feeling is that this "gentleman's agreement" has been taken advantage of. This was certainly on display at this summer's World Cup. In the Premiership, such breaks in play have been the subject of controversy. One high-profile encounter last season resulted in Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger squaring-off against Tottenham's Martin Jol on the sidelines. Wenger was furious when Jol's men refused to put the ball out of play after Emmanuel Eboue and Gilberto Silva were injured in the build-up to a Tottenham goal by Robbie Keane. Why the change? "Sometimes the demand for the ball to go immediately out - from both players and fans - was almost acting as an extra defender," said Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson. "This will remove the pressure on players who are wondering at the back of their mind 'is he really injured?'" Read the original story...


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