Uefa takes more care than the Prem Lge, plus more rule changes proposed

By Tony Attwood

We have been pondering whether there are any regulations at all in the Premier League about the quality of the pitches the PL matches should be played on.  Judging by Tottenham’s game against Manchester City the answer is an extremely big “no”. You can play on gravel if you like. Or sand. Or in this case mud.

However although the PL won’t do anything on most things (often because of their deals with the TV companies, as in this case, and with PGMO when it comes to refereeing matters) Uefa, of all organisations, will actually act.

They have announced that they are going to undertake extra pitch inspections at Wembley early next week and will insist that the mud pile is improved ready for the Champs League game between Tottenham H and PSV Eindhoven.  As I understand it, but haven’t been able to get it confirmed, if the ground is singularly unsuitable officials can refuse to sanction it and Tottenham lose the game 3-0. PSV also have the right to appeal.

It seems that the team that tend to the pitch at the stadium in Middlesex would not deal with the NFL markings before the game between Tottenham H and Manchester C for fear it would harm the grass even more, but Uefa insist they must go on the grounds that not doing so will harm the TV image.

A spokes entity for Uefa said, “Uefa is closely monitoring the situation at the Wembley Stadium and working together with the club, The Football Association and the management of the stadium, to guarantee safe playing conditions for the upcoming Uefa Champions League match.”

  1. Guardiola chimed into the debate saying that the pitch was not suitable for football.  Meanwhile a Mr D Levy who is reputed to be in charge of the erection of the much delayed new stadium has confirmed that Tottenham will play at Wembley for the rest of this year.  However the Daily Telegraph in a recent piece suggested the ground might not open until February.

Part of the problem seems to be that Tottenham is not willing to pay the full level of bonus payments that would be necessary to have builders, electricians, sewage contractors and installers work throughout the period from December 23 through to January 2, when most of British industry packs up and goes home.

Thankfully Arsenal were drawn at home against Tottenham in the League Cup which means the game can be played on grass.

Elsewhere it seems IFAB are really upping their game in terms of changing the rules of football at the next IFAB meeting on Monday and Tuesday next week in London.  At this meeting representatives of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland gather along with an equal number from the rest of the world to make up new laws. Any changes that get six or more of the votes available will go to the full meeting of Fifa for overall agreement.  England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have one vote each, and the rest of the world has four.

One new proposal involves removing the word “deliberately” from the handball rules, and instead having a focus on the hand being in an unnatural position.  An alternative approach involves only having handball if the hand or arm makes contact with the ball over the player’s shoulder height. It would also be an offence if the ball hits the arm below shoulder height but in an unnatural position, which could be defined as more than eight o’clock or four o’clock from the body. Any goal scored after striking the arm of an attacking player would be disallowed.

Of course all such changes will work easily in countries that have VAR, but not the Premier League which continues to stand alone, at the behest of PGMO.

Another proposal is that penalties will simply be the shot taken by the player, and rebounds or follow ups will not be allowed.  So if the keeper palms out the ball or it comes back off the post, the penalty is saved and a goal kick is awarded.

This would bring it in line with penalty shoot outs and would stop players encroaching on the area (a common problem that referees seem unwilling to deal with, although again VAR can sort that) since as with shoot outs, there is no benefit in encroachment.  A one shot stop in fact.

And then we come on to stopping substitutions during time added on at the end of the game to avoid time wasting (although in fact if the officials added on the right amount of time as taken by the substitution event, this would be overcome anyway.)

The additional time issue gained major coverage in Arsenal’s league cup final against Manchester City where only three minutes were added (seemingly at the request of the TV company who feared viewers were drifting away before the adverts) when in fact given the number of second half stoppages and substitutions the time should have been at least double that.

It would not have affected the result of course with Arsenal being 3-0 down, but the moment that rules start being manipulated for TV (as in fact they were then) we have a situation in which TV runs the show, rather than the rules of football and the referee.

No action was taken against the referee and assistant on that occasion, but this is an opportunity for IFAB to sort out who actually is in charge of matches – the ref or the paymaster.


12 Replies to “Uefa takes more care than the Prem Lge, plus more rule changes proposed”

  1. The yellow card Goal keeper offence of time wasting must also be made a penalty as it occurs in the box. Officials seem to evade the Law that already covers that.

    One other change would make sense (not that easy in Football officialdom) is to deem shielding of the ball as the ball having been touched. This will stop the practice of avoidance of corners by players.

    The throw in must be taken by the appropriate teams player closest to the ball. Failure to do this turns the throw in to the opposition.

  2. Injured players having to leave the field if they have been treated on it, whilst the culprit gets to play on???

    I can’t see why an injury outside of the penalty area cannot simply be treated whilst the game plays on, this will prevent the fake injuries. If a player needs more than one person to check his injury then carry him off for treatment. Then if an injured player has to leave the field so does the culprit, until both are ready to come back on. A sort of mini sin bin.

    Also link the refs watch to a stadium clock ruling out the need for extra time. When the ball is not in play the ref stops the clock, when the game restarts so does the clock.

  3. You do have a real problem with basic geography. I have noticed this previously in your blogs. Although ‘Middlesex’ is still used in addresses around the periphery of London, this is for historic reasons only – Middlesex no longer exists in any shape or form. Wembley is in north London. Middlesex is no longer a county.

    I suggest spending some time looking at a map. While you are at why not have a look at where Woolwich is located.

  4. RBS
    Arsenal Have been in North London much, much longer than than the Middlesex Nomads have been out Middlesex.

    At the moment they don’t even have a home in totenham or decent pitch to play on.

    As you know where Woolwich is may be there is a cecent pitch down there waiting for the team you refer to.

    what have you won since yourr move to London? May be you will have better luck in Woolwich!

  5. All goals scored after contact with the attacking players arms should be ruled out. Totally seconded. Even though that would have ruled out quite a number of arsenal goals(notably koscielnys against Burnley). It will also save us the embarrassment of having Walter cook up explanations showing the handball as entirely unintentional when we score such goals

  6. If you are going to make such an allegation you most certainly should give at least two examples (since you have put the allegation in the plural)

  7. I think the difference between us is that I know that Arsenal never played in Woolwich, that Wembley has a postal address of Middlesex, and that Arsenal never played in more than one stadium as a home venue in a season, while Tottenham are currently on three for this season.
    The fact is that as the Arsenal History Society blog has shown very clearly, Arsenal moving from Plumstead to Highbury, not only save Arsenal, it also (as Henry Norris predicted in 1913) benefitted both Clapton Orient and Tottenham, whose crowds went up significantly. His argument was that by having 3 teams close to each other, the local papers would give much greater coverage to football than had previously been the case, and encourage more people to go to games, and as in so many other matters he was right.
    You might like to read the full details of the move from Plumstead to Highbury in the Henry Norris series at https://blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/henry-norris-at-the-arsenal
    There is a lot of it, but then, we do tend to go in for historical accuracy rather than allegations.

  8. RBS – Middlesex is still a postal address & forms part of the county of Greater London together with part of Surrey & Essex. It exists in a postal form. Woolwich is still a MOD property and is historically where the Arsenal was.
    The coop in North London that hosted the chickens is under construction & their temporary pen in Wembley (North West London) is being used by others to ensure the grass is not destroyed by the chicken manure. The coop will eventually be complete with the cockerel placed in a position to deposit its waste on your support giving our chant ‘What do you think is shit?’ real meaning again.

  9. Arsenal never played in more than one stadium as a home venue in a season ?
    Tony with your knowledge you must be aware Arsenal had 3x different home league venues in 1895.

  10. Well yes because of the ground closure; in my joy at pointing out the error of the location I forgot that – and indeed one could also cite the two campaigns in which we played European games at Wembley rather than Highbury.

  11. As always with the fans of a certain club which hails from Kent/ south London, a club which has changed its name more than hot dinners – history & geography seem to be an inconvenient truth. Tottenham Hotspur were based in Middlesex (before it ceased to exist), that is true – but although this may a strang concept for small brained Goons – they were also located (at the same time) within the conurbation/ metropolis of London. Because believe it or not an area can be located in two places at once (like Haringey & London for example). This is why the postal address for Tottenham was an N postcode, standing for…north London… but more importantly than this, it is why in 1882, Spurs became founding members of the London F.A. Indeed their first competitive game in 1885 (still a full year before Dial Square were formed) was in the London Association Cup. Spurs are the oldest professional club members still in existence of the London F.A. (even before Fulham joined, which is an older establishment but for whatever reason joined the London F.A. after Spurs). So Spurs have been proudly representing London football since 1882. But Goon fans, don’t let the facts get in the way of what you want to tell yourselves!

  12. RBS I am sorry to see that your quick run down of your club’s history has to be presented in such a manner. Yes indeed Tottenham were part of the London FA from the start – one might also add that Woolwich Arsenal were very active in supporting Tottenham’s move from the Southern League to the Football League. One could also add that Royal Arsenal offered to resign from the London FA when they became the first London FA club to go professional in 1891. Thesse things are all matters of record. I am not clear why they can’t be presented in a straightforward and factual manner without recourse to the “don’t let the facts get in the way…” type comment. But obviously it is up to you how you want to present the facts about the club you support.

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