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Watching the premier league game of Liverpool vs Chelsea today, there was a point during the game that Chelsea had two players injured at the same time.

The commentator mentioned that if there was two players from the same team injured they didn't need to leave the pitch before returning. But then the referee made them do so. What is the rule that governs this instance? Seems unfair that the game would restart with one team down to 9, albeit briefly.

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If at all possible, supplementing your post with a clip where this occurred might help. I was watching this game as well, the players were André Schürrle and John Obi Mikel. I do remember the commentator, Lee Dixon, touching on the fact that two people were down (may I add, continuing to waste time as Chelsea had done all game), but I don't remember him specifying that they didn't have to leave the field? – Nicholas V. Apr 28 '14 at 2:27
up vote 10 down vote accepted

The referee will not require two players from the same team to leave the field if they collide and they need immediate attention (ie. are seriously injured).

p. 73 - 74 of the 2013/14 FIFA Laws of the Game (abridged for clarity):

The referee must adhere to the following procedure when dealing with injured players:


  • play is allowed to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in the opinion of the referee, only slightly injured
  • play is stopped if, in the opinion of the referee, a player is seriously injured


  • as soon as the referee has authorised the doctors to enter the field of play, the player must leave the field of play, either on a stretcher or on foot. If a player does not comply, he must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour
  • an injured player may only return to the field of play after the match has restarted


Exceptions to this ruling are to be made only when:

  • a goalkeeper is injured
  • a goalkeeper and an outfield player have collided and need immediate attention
  • players from the same team have collided and need immediate attention
  • a severe injury has occurred, e.g. swallowed tongue, concussion, broken leg
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As far as I am aware they were made to leave the field because they were not injured in the same incident. For instance if the two players collided into each other then they would not be required to leave the field.

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