Fastest substitution in football history? 16-year-old taken off after 13 seconds in Estonia

  • Kobe Tong

There’s something so wrong, but so right about enjoying a terrible performance in football.

We’ve all seen one and we’ve probably all produced one ourselves.

Whether it’s David Luiz crumbling to pieces during Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany or Dave from the Duck and Hound scoring two own goals on a Sunday morning, a disasterclass is always a sight to behold.

13-second substitution

And although in the former example – we can’t account for the legend that is Dave – Luiz actually played all 90 minutes, managers are often not afraid to call these struggle players for an early bath.

Jose Mourinho is perhaps the most famous manager when it comes to not giving a damn about hooking off players in the first-half or, in the case of poor Nemanja Matic, when they were a sub in the first place.

However, remarkable scenes in Estonia have astonishingly made Mourinho look like a soft touch because one player made headlines around the world for being substituted after… 13 seconds.


Poor 16-year-old Lauri Supp

Look, we know 13 is unlucky and all that, but imagine taking to the pitch, hearing the beautiful sound of the first whistle and then striding off before you can say ‘let them know you’re there, lads’.

Well, according to The Sun, that’s exactly what happened to poor Lauri Supp – who is only 16 years old, bless him – during Kalju’s clash with FCI Levadia in the Estonian first division on Sunday.

Immediately after kick-off, the goalkeeper kicked the ball out for a throw-in and the fourth official proceeded to raise his board to signal that Supp’s afternoon was over before it had even started.

Ukrainian Vladislav Homutov, who might as well have been a starter, then proceeded to take to the field in his place.


The rule behind the madness

So, why did this absolute farce take place? Well, it’s because rules in the Estonian top flight mean that every side must field at least two homegrown players in their starting XI.

And with so many members of the Kalju first-team self-isolating because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the manager was forced to give Supp the nod.

Nevertheless, there clearly wasn’t much faith in the 16-year-old when you consider he was pulled from the action so soon with Kalju going on to lose 2-1. 


A faultless performance…?

It’s not the first time that a similar rule has forced a bizarre substitution with former Chelsea star and Cluj manager Dan Petrescu making a change after just 24 seconds in March.

However, it seems as though this latest example from Estonia could well take the unofficial world record as the swiftest change in a football match.

If there’s any consolation for Supp, it wasn’t because he produced one of those aforementioned disasterclasses in his whopping 13 seconds, so it could be argued that he was absolutely faultless…

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