Play was halted in the match between Everton and Chelsea on Sunday due to a medical emergency. A policeman walked on to the pitch to bring the match to a pause, enabling the medical team to rush to the stand and aid the supporter.
The referee stopped play in the 84th minute after shouts and boos – to draw attention – were heard and a policeman entered the field of play. Staff and the medical team then rushed to the aid of the supporter who required assistance.
Before the start of the campaign, it was ruled that matches would no longer be stopped for medical emergencies unless they were deemed to be serious. The Premier League said: “Clubs have been advised not to stop games for a medical emergency in the stands unless absolutely necessary.”
The incident is the first of this season, and hopefully the last. Numerous games were paused last season whilst supporters could seek medical attention, which the Premier League do not want to become the new norm and for fixtures to be interrupted and delayed.
Last season, a match between Newcastle and Tottenham was delayed for approximately 20 minutes so that a fan could be taken to hospitalised. There were also several other incidents, including at the Manchester Derby.
Play resumed with a drop ball at Goodison Park just a few minutes after the match was stopped, with only extra time being minorly affected by the incident. Chelsea took all three points with them back to London on the evening, with Jorginho scoring the all-important goal.
The Italy international slotted home from the penalty spot in the ninth minute of added time in the first half, after Abdoulaye Doucoure dragged down Ben Chilwell inside the box as he looked set to get a shot away. Though Duncan Ferguson does not feel that his former side should be too discouraged by the 1-0 defeat, telling Sky Sports: “I thought Everton were comfortable in the first-half, unfortunate with the penalty. In the second half they came out in the second half, they did well, created a few chances.
“From there, they were quite comfortable without being a real threat. I think that big number nine they were missing, he’d of made a difference to them. I think they started the second half well, Chelsea never created anything in the second half until (Raheem) Sterling in the 80th minute but I thought Everton were comfortable and unfortunate. I feel for Frank (Lampard) tonight.”