It’s a part of the game that confuses managers, players and even referee’s. What exactly is the right procedure when a player goes down with an injury. A meeting has been taking place at the UEFA Headquarters between some of the top coaches and managers in the game in order to clarify the rule.
The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was one of the coaches present at the meeting and has been talking about the confusion which still exists amongst players over what they should do when a player goes down injured.
Arsene Wenger had this to say about the issue, “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.”
“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.”
It would seem like the most obvious answer would be to let the referee handle the run of play in all facets of the game, even potential injuries. However, time and again we find players interpreting the game in their own way for fear of being unpopular or criticized by the media if they retain the ball. The injury rule is something that needs to be clarified as we find teams misusing the injury scenario to run down time or halt a counter attacking play.
As would be the agreed outcome, most coaches would look to the referee to decide whether a player is injured or not. It seems that for now, that would be the most favorable outcome for both teams and players on the pitch.