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PL ball boys, ladies to cease returning balls on to gamers

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Premier League ball girls and boys have been advised to cease returning balls to gamers following the introduction of a rule change designed to keep away from touchline clashes and to stop handing the house staff an unfair benefit.

Sources have advised ESPN that the change shouldn’t be a direct consequence of the incident on the finish of Coventry Metropolis’s latest FA Cup quarterfinal win towards Wolves, when the Championship membership’s supervisor Mark Robins was criticised by Wolves boss Gary O’Neil for confronting a ball-boy who delayed returning the ball to a participant within the closing levels of the sport.

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Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno was additionally concerned in a conflict with a ball boy throughout the Premier League recreation towards Bournemouth on the Vitality Stadium in December.

With the earlier system of ball assistants getting used to gather and return balls to gamers, the Premier League has now made the change amid considerations that the system could possibly be utilized by the house staff on the drawback of their opponents.

An modification to Rule L.35 of the Premier League Handbook, which covers the multi-ball system, implies that gamers should now declare the ball from pitchside cones when it goes out of play.

The rule now states that “Ball Assistants are solely allowed to retrieve match balls and substitute them on the vacant cones and are usually not permitted to return a ball on to a participant.”

To be able to assist pace up the sport and keep away from time-wasting, 14 balls — seven on all sides — will now be out there together with pitch, a rise of 4 from the earlier system.

Ball assistants shall be required to return a ball to a vacant cone when it goes out of play and make sure that they aren’t positioned subsequent to the ball cones.

The Premier League has said that ball assistants should sit behind pitchside promoting boards the place doable.