Date: 20th April 2016 at 9:04am
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4. Advantage

Is there anything more infuriating than the advantage rule? I don’t think so. Even the name seems fairly irritating. How can you have an advantage when a player has been fouled, possibly injured, and your team is now temporarily down to ten men? More often than not, the referee playing advantage results in your team giving the ball away, or ending up with your player surrounded by the opposition. This is not an advantage.

14th February 2016 - Barclays Premier League - Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Referee Mark Clattenburg - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Referee Mark Clattenburg – Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

It is the inconsistency that makes this so frustrating. The referee may refuse to play on when they probably should. An advantage one week, could be a free kick the next. The advantage might last 10 seconds, or it could go on for a minute. Why not get rid of this law altogether and award the free kick? At the very least, football could experiment a longer period of advantage like in Rugby – play would be more continuous and the referee would be less worried about stopping for infringements.

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