The SFA press release follows.
The Scottish FA has called for players to stop kicking the ball out of
play when teammates or opponents are injured.
David Taylor, Chief Executive, said today: "It is for the match
referee to decide whether a break in play is necessary for treatment to
be given to injured players.
"In accordance with the Laws of the Game, the referee controls the
match and allows play to continue until the ball is out of play if a
player is, in his opinion, only slightly injured. The referee will stop
the match if, in his opinion, a player may be seriously injured."
The practice of kicking the ball out has grown in recent years, but
rather than aid fair play it has led to problems. Already this season
there have been matches in Scotland where sides have disagreed over
whether to kick the ball out, leading to arguments on the touchline and
on the pitch.
David Taylor added: "Whilst a referee cannot dictate what a player
can or cannot do with the ball, the practice of deliberately kicking the
ball out of play to secure attention for an injured player is
unnecessary. Frequent instances of this practice can disrupt the flow of
a game and can even be used as a tactical ploy. This can create
disagreements and tensions, particularly regarding whether, and in what
manner, the ball is returned to play.
"The Scottish FA is therefore encouraging clubs to make their
coaching and playing staff aware of the role and responsibilities of the
match referee in order to remove any possible confusion about where
responsibility lies for the treatment of injured players."