Let the Ref Decide

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."