‘Injured’ players seeking advantage

Jo and Rhys Williams competing in a nighttime navigational competition in East Hampshire

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Remember the days when a footballer was injured a trainer would rush on the pitch with an old football bladder filled with water and a sponge? A quick swish with the ‘magic’ sponge and all was well.

If the player stayed down for longer than seemed necessary spectators shouted: ‘Give him the ball and watch him run!’ Little sympathy and, indeed, the player was soon up and about.

How different it is today.

Now paramedics rush on to the pitch surrounding the player even for the most minor of assumed injuries. Play is held up for what seems an eternity. But why? Here’s the crux of the matter.

The referee adds on many minutes of injury time. How many times in recent games have you seen goals scored in the 95th to 97th minute?

In recent games, Brentford v Brighton produced goals in the 94th and 97th minutes for a 3-3 draw; Burton Albion scored a winner in the 94th minute, Notts Forest scored a winner in the 93rd minute.

To cap it all, several weeks ago Arsenal were awarded a penalty in the 98th minute to beat Burnley 2-1. Definitely something fishy going on...