What a bloody dilemma

ON SATURDAY 9th May, Hull City FC took on Burnley FC at the KC stadium in the Barclays Premier League, in which a Burnley side went into the game already facing relegation and Hull on the verges. In a game that didn’t reflect upon the score sheet, Hull City will feel that they should have got more out of their 21 shots on target. It took just over an hour for the the only goal of the game to come, in which Danny Ings finished from close range after a poor touch from Robbie Brady led to the striker pouncing on the oppurtunity.

Now you may be wondering why this belongs in the Opinion section of this newspaper. Hopefully the following will answer your question. Michael Dawson could do nothing but watch as he stood on the sidelines for Burnley’s corner. Referee Martin Atkinson told the central defender to leave the pitch as there was a tiny amount of blood coming from his nose and landing on his shirt. FA regulations state that a player that is bleeding must be removed from the pitch; can return once it has stopped; and that the player must not return on the pitch with clothing that has blood on. This is due to health and safety reasons, which is 100% understandable. However, Dawson wasn’t bleeding dramatically. There was a ‘spec’ of blood on his shirt which Steve Bruce added after the game, could have been “wiped away with a handkerchief”. Before I carry on, I have to say I am a Manchester United fan with no real passion or hatred for Burnley or Hull but I can’t help but feel that Hull have been hard done by this. Dawson isn’t by any means a small bloke and can deal with a tiny amount of blood. I completely understand the Health and Safety regulations behind this matter, but I feel that this rule should be revised. By the time Burnley could have set up the corner, Dawson could have wiped up the blood, changed his shirt and be back marking Danny Ings, commanding the defence.

This rule is not ridiculous, but needs revision or standardising. If rugby were like football, nothing would get done. You wouldn’t exactly see George North leaving the pitch to change his shirt after a scratch. Players leave the pitch in football for blood related incidents like they do for injuries, which in many cases is necessary. However, a sub-class or revision of this rule should be created for clothing and minor blood incidents. Play should be halted, so player’s like Dawson can get a replacement shirt as quickly as possible and then play can resume. This may not be the most glamorous fixture in football, but it could mean rather a lot to Hull City. With a trip to Tottenham and the visit of Manchester United, in which one of them has to be a win, relegation looks hard to avoid. Unfortunately, it is unlikely for anything to happen as this is not front page news. If this same thing were to happen in a Cup Final, the story would be the same but on a different scale.