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Mr Ref

Deep into the second half of a tied match after a successful substitution, the red team is pressuring blue team in their PA. The red substituted player is being harassed by an obnoxious fan who tosses beer at him. Enraged the red substituted player jumps up and kicks the fence screen the fan was leaning up against causing an injury to the fan's face. This is witnessed by the 4th official who diligently tries to get the AR to then get the referees attention while trying to calm things down. Red team has just scored a goal the CR and near AR initially indicate goal and kick off but the trailing AR has flag up and relays these events occurred prior to red scoring a goal.
Your Match Your Decision Your Reputation!


Matt   Bristow   VA   USA   Referee
If anything, this is misconduct, not a foul as it was committed by a substituted player and not a substitute. Since the ball is out of play when the referee is made aware of the misconduct, the appropriate restart would be a kick-off. Prior to the kick-off, I would immediately suspend play until the offending fan has been treated and removed from the vicinity. I would also direct the remaining members of the crew and any tournament officials to let me know if they sensed any escalation in tensions in the crowd. If the fan required prolonged treatment at or near the field or I sensed the probability of a mass confrontation, I would abandon the match. Caveat: If continuing the game during the fan's treatment didn't pose a risk to players or the fan and there was not a significant risk of mass confrontation, I would continue. I would also give consideration to moving the technical area away from the 'danger' area if possible. The final question which I would handle after the above issues had been resolved would be the potential misconduct by the SP. I would have a consultation with the 4th official and the AR and discuss the specifics of the action by the SP. If we as a team decided that the action was a momentary emotional outburst and that the SP's actions were directed at the fence and he did not have reason to believe the fan would be injured (e.g., a sign obscured his view and he couldn't see the fan) than there would be no misconduct. If we decide that the act was committed against the fan, the SP would be guilty of VC and sent off. Since the issue happened in the vicinity of the technical area and both coaches are presumably nearby, I would give consideration to briefly explaining the decision to the coaches or captains in order to prevent bickering and manage the game. I would also leverage team officials, tournament officials, etc. to notify the spectators that further incidents may result in the abandonment of the match. Since there is a 4th official, I would assume the game is at a level where no re-entry is allowed. In that case, if it was decided that the player's actions were not misconduct, I would suggest to the red team that the involved SP move to a safe location even if the TA was not moved. In any event, I would not begin the game if I felt that the safety of the red team or player was endangered.

Sahid   Chicago   IL   USA   Referee   
The goal by RED stands because the violent conduct was committed outside the pitch by a non-player and had no effect on the play. Red substituted player must be shown a red card and removed from all areas adjacent and surrounding the field of play.

Ben Wiles   USA   Referee   
So for sure, we have a VC sendoff. Not a foul, since the victim was a spectator and a piece of fence and not an opposing player, so the restart is whatever it would have been anyway. A VC send-off occurs "when the ball is next out of play" (Law 12 2015), so since the offender is not on the field improperly, the goal is good and we have a kickoff.
Reza E.   CA   USA   Referee
This is an unfortunate situation that perhaps could have been prevented by better cooperation/coordination between the match officials and the venue security staff. We don't want to create an opportunity for the spectators to attack the players, in this case by throwing beer. Neither we want the players have an opportunity to physically engage the spectators. Having said that, we still have a situation to handle. The misconduct, a substituted player hitting a spectator is a clear example of VC (see law 12). In this situation, the fence is an extension of the player's hand. The referee should delay the kick-off. The substituted player should be shown the red card and sent off. The officials should also consider contacting the authorities (police) and medical staff to deal with the injured spectator. As a ref, I would also check with my 4th official whether the substituted player was encouraged by any of his teammates (on the pitch or on the bench) or team officials to attack the spectator. If so, I will identify and send off any player or team official involved. I will clearly and carefully document the situation in my match report in consultation and collaboration with my ARs and the 4th official. Now back to the goal scored by the red team. It is true that the misconduct happened before the ball was scored. However, the misconduct was outside the field of play, by a substituted player, not observed by the referee and the two ARs, and did not interfere with the attackers or defenders during the course of the attack. In other words, it had no impact on the goal. As a referee, I will let the goal stand and re-start with a kick-off for the blue team after I have dealt with the misconduct and relative calm is restored.

Simon from   Cunnamulla   Queensland   Australia   Referee
The short answer is the events off the field had no influence on the goal scored, so it stands and the re-start will be a kick off. But before the KO, the issues of the off field events, need to be addressed. Firstly the substituted player has engaged in misconduct, violent conduct. He is subject to the authority of the referee, and while I may understand his reaction to provocation, he is shown a red card. He has to now move away from the field. The subsequent report will reflect the actions of the crowds (well at least one of them) misbehavior. This may mitigate his sanction, but the LOTG does not regulate the crowd as such. The next issue is the 4th officials reaction. This off-field event should not cause the AR to be flagging while play is active. The 4th official can deal with this with the ground official, and if not then let me know at a stoppage, there are plenty of them through the game.

Alan Siegel, CA USA Referee
The red substituted player is guilty of Violent Conduct toward a spectator and should be shown the red card and sent off. The red team does not play short the rest of the match since the individual is not a player but a substituted player. Since the match was not stopped to issue the send off it is restarted according to the reason the ball was out of play (a goal) and the match is restarted with a kick-off by the blue team. The act was not a foul since it did not occur on the field, by a player, and against an opponent.

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