Referee Webb urges players not to fake injury



BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — World Cup final referee Howard Webb has urged players to stop faking injuries because it could jeopardize treatment for players who suffer cardiac arrest and other life-threatening conditions.

Webb’s quick reaction when Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the field in March helped the Bolton midfielder get treatment which saved his life.

Referees’ responses could be affected if players “cry wolf” too often, Webb said during a FIFA medical conference.

Players who are not seriously injured sometimes seek a tactical edge by staying down longer than necessary to slow the game, the English referee said. He asked “everybody in football to think about these situations and ask players not to take advantage.”

Muamba’s recovery after his heart stopped beating on its own for 78 minutes is “an unbelievable miracle,” Webb said.