UEFA wants new football rule to punish players who injure opponents

The Associated Press
May 14, 2014 06:02 AM

TURIN, Italy - UEFA wants players who hurt an opponent to stay off the field until the injured party is ready to return.

Head of refereeing Pierluigi Collina said Wednesday it was not fair for teams to gain a temporary one-player advantage by injuring an opponent.

"This is something that has gone on since (forever), I would say, but it's unfair." Collina said at a season-ending briefing. "Football gives the advantage to the team of the player who committed a foul and is cautioned."

The Italian official, who refereed the 2002 World Cup final, insisted "something has to be considered."

Laws of football can be changed at annual meetings of the International Football Association Board, which comprises FIFA delegates and the four British football federations.

The panel has pledged to run more trials and pilot projects to test ideas.

UEFA President Michel Platini joined Collina to promote their five-referee system of match officiating used in UEFA competitions to rule on goal-line decisions and penalty box incidents. FIFA will use goal-line cameras at the World Cup.

Platini said most of his 54 European member countries now use five officials — placing an extra assistant beside each goal — in top-tier leagues or selected high-profile matches.

"I think it will work. 35 national associations have said it does," Platini said. Italy, Belgium and Turkey are among the adopters.

Collina said he recently briefed analysts working for British broadcasters about how five officials worked together.

"They didn't understand why the system is not used in England," Collina said.

Three goal-line decisions were required from the Premier League's camera technology systems in 380 match this season, he said.

However, 4,093 corner kicks were also awarded in which goal-line technology could not assist the referee.

Collina cited an example from his own refereeing days when he should have disallowed a key goal by Chelsea captain John Terry which helped eliminate Barcelona from the Champions League in 2005.

Having an extra assistant watching the goalmouth would have told Collina that Terry's teammate Ricardo Carvalho illegally blocked Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, the former referee said after showing video of the incident.

Platini said he got "many proposals from outside of Europe to send Pierluigi to explain" the five-referee system.

Still, he acknowledged it was "becoming complicated" for some federations to adopt the system because of added costs training and employing more referees.

Some federations used five referees only for cup finals and "key, sensitive games," the UEFA president said.

Collina added that an extra official freed the assistant with the flag to focus on offside rulings.

"We should give them only this task to control the offside and, believe me, this is enough," he said.


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