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English Referees Consider Injury Rule Change

  • Telegraph, Thursday, August 16, 2007 3:30 PM
English referees want to introduce "a radical change" to the Premier League's laws, according to Henry Winter of the Telegraph. Following successful discussions with the League Managers' Association and the Professional Footballers' Association, the Professional Game Match Officials want to implement a new rule requiring players who foul opponents wait on the touchline until the injured player is either replaced or deemed fit to carry on. Keith Hackett, the elite referees' representative is now taking the proposal to the English Football Association, where it will be reviewed by the FA referees' committee. If approved there, the matter would then go to the International Football Association Board, which will decide on any rule changes for next season when it meets in the early spring.
 
If it passes these hurdles, the new law could conceivably be implemented at Euro 2008. The proposed rule does not apply to all fouls -- only those deemed worthy of a yellow card. "It's wrong that the opponent who committed the foul challenge remains on the pitch and his team stays at 11, yet the team who has been offended against go down to 10 for a period while the player is treated," Hackett said.
 
It's no easy task to get the rule change approved. The international committee must reach a 6-2 vote, with FIFA holding four votes and England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales holding the other four. "It is a long-winded process,'' Hackett admitted.

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