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This is specific to league play in Europe (England, France, Germany, Spain). Why do coaches reveal to the media in a pre-match conference which of their players are injured and unlikely to play?

I've known some coaches to do a fake-out (say a player is injured but then play him). But why say anything at all? Are there any rules requiring teams to disclose injury information days before the match?

  • As far as I know, there's no ruling to disclose information on injuries (to the media). But the media is so close on everything right now. If they visit a practice and see player X not training, of going off with an injury, only running laps, ... They'll start to ask questions about it, and I guess the main part of the coaches does not bother with a 'fake-out', although is surely happens, but rarely. – Don_Biglia Apr 20 '15 at 6:56
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    Not sure about European football, but most American sports leagues do penalize coaches for not revealing injuries to the media. – kuhl Apr 20 '15 at 23:45
  • @kuhl, never heard of something like it in football, so don't think there are actual rules about it. Only thing not done is actually the opposite, not releasing players for international duty due to some really minor/fake injury is punishable, player will get suspended for first game. – Don_Biglia Apr 21 '15 at 13:35
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@ThomasDB is quite right in his comment. It would be difficult to hide, with the modern technology and the press being on top of literally everything.

That doesn't mean the coaches have to be 100% honest or don't have the wiggle-room in press conferences.

For example, Mourinho is quite famous for "overestimating" injuries to his key players, only to figure out later that the player could play just fine (Diego Costa, anyone?). He's far from being the only manager who does tricks like that but perhaps one of the most famous. The main advantage is that you can mess with the opponent managers tactical plans/preparations.

The opposite scenario is also quite common. A key player gets injured in a game, the press asks how serious it is, and the manager might downplay the injury even if he knows that the player might be out for a month or two.

Practically what a manager says about the injuries at the pre-/post-game conferences is not binding in any way, and practically all is fair in this type of mindgame "warfare".

So to answer the OP, why say anything at all? Mind-games! To mess with the morale or tactics of the opponents.

It could also be a matter of man management for his own squad, for instance: i) to cheer up/support the injured player, or ii) to give confidence to a replacement player...

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