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Author Topic: Fielding less than 11 players
Inca
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As discussed in this thread, 7 Cubans defected from their team in Olympic qualifications after a game against the US in Florida, leaving the entire team with only 11 players.

CONCACAF announced that their games would continue, and they played against Honduras last night with only 10 players taking the field, as one player picked up a red card in their first game.

FIFA's Laws of the Game state that a game cannot proceed if one team has less than 7 players. How many times has a team started a game with less than 11? Has there ever been a team to start with the bare minimum of 7?

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UK Apache
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My pub team started with 7 on Sunday after one of the cars broke down. We lost 13-0.

We have since folded

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twohundredpercent
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I played as a stop-gap for a team that only had 8 players once. We lost that one about 16-1, or something.

The famous example of it is the flip-side of this - that game between Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion, when one of the United got their team reduced to six players in order to get the match abandoned. I'm still amazed that United escaped heavy censure over that.

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sitek
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11 Freunde recently had a report about Arminia Bielefeld only starting with 10 fit players (including goalkeeper) before the game against Saarbrücken in 1986/87. After a player got injured in the 10th minute, they had to carry on with 9.
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blackdogbeak
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Newcastle is full of apocryphal stories about Hughie Gallacher tumbling out of a pub at five past three, getting onto the pitch ten minutes later, then - obviously - playing a blinder.
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ad hoc
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Nigeria played a friendly with Romania a couple of years ago, and they only managed to get about 10 players to turn up for it. They managed to find two others playing for second division teams in Romania who would turn out, and so just made up the numbers.

I wrote about it in WSC

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Hieronymus Bosch
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El Salvador's squad at the 1982 World Cup only had 20 players in it. I don't know why.
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Jorge Porbillas
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I thought this was going to be about Gretna
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TV's 'Mr P'
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'Fewer than eleven players.' (Tsk.)
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Alania Vladikavkaz Satie
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I was once pressganged on a Sunday afternoon into turning out as a ringer for a 5 aside team who wouldve been thrown out of the league for persistent undermanning if I didnt play.
The opposition only had three men while we included three who'd just finished a pub carvery Sunday dinner and five pints each (inc myself).
They beat us something like 9-1.

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mnb098mnb
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When I was playing youth football I played in a team that began the match with 11 players. One of my team was substituted because the manager felt he wasn't trying hard enough, even though we had no subs. We ended the match with 10 men.

[ 14.03.2008, 19:26: Message edited by: mnb098mnb ]

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Inca
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quote:
'Fewer than eleven players.' (Tsk.)
Language Log disagrees with the "rule" for less/fewer, and Joseph Williams in Style: Toward Clarity and Grace says...

quote:
3. Finally, some grammarians try to impose on those who already write educated standard English particular items of usage that they think those educated writers should observe--don't split infinitives; use that, not which for restrictive clauses; use fewer, not less for countable nouns; don't use hopefully to mean I hope. These are matters that few speakers and writers of nonstandard English worry about. They are, however, items about which educated writers disagree.

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gialloblu
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quote:
use fewer, not less for countable nouns; ... These are matters that few speakers and writers of nonstandard English worry about.
Shouldn't it then just as well be little speakers and writers of nonstandard English? Oh, never mind...

Back on topic, the Soviet Union fielded zero players in their WC74 play-off in Pinochet's political prisoners' camp, aka Santiago de Chile's Estadio Nacional.

I know that there have been loads of cases when teams didn't turn up at all for matches. But that match seems to have been different as Chile actually did turn up for that match and their opponents, the USSR, didn't.

"On 21 November 1973 20,000 spectators witnessed a farce never seen before in football history", says my "Fußballweltmeisterschaft 1974" book. Chile kick off, Francisco Valdes puts the ball into an empty Soviet goal, no Soviet player is there to continue play, so the ref abandons the match. Chilean players and crowd go ecstatic as they've just qualified for the 1974 World Cup, going through 2-1 on aggregate against the Soviet Union.

Away goals didn't count, btw.

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HORN
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I seem to recall a similar incident, described in the introduction to the Mexico '70 sticker album. Can't remember the teams.
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Gangster Octopus
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That Chile/USSR incident is because they were playing the match at the stadium in Santiago where thousands of people had been rounded up, tortured and killed during the Pinochet/CIA revolution only months earlier.
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