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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 29232

Law 7 - Match Duration 3/7/2015

RE: Under 10

Glen of Bolton, UK asks...

If a player scores in the dying seconds of match must play restart with a KO before the ref can blow for full time? For example, added time indicated is 3 mins. A goal is scored after 2 mins and 55 seconds of added time. Obviously by the time the ball is retrieved and the players return to the centre circle time will be over 93 mins. My understanding is that the game must be restarted with a KO and the the ref cannot simply blow for full time without restarting the game.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Glenn,
No you are misinformed, there is no violation of law ending the match on a goal without restarting! No law requiring a kick off. Although I contend it is a good idea for 3 reasons

(1) it brings the ball back for a restart thus if something is incorrect it could be fixed before the kick off just as the restart makes the goal an indisputable fact of play!
(2) The perception of time while not to the millisecond does prey upon the mindset of players that a referee is not being fair if he ends the match immediately as if waiting for the goal before stopping instead of using time as the reason.
(3) The ball is at centre where I can get to it when I end the match shortly after kick off lol


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Glen
No it is not necessary to restart the game to then end it. The only reason it is done by some referees is that it gives the referee time to take into account any factors such as the intervention of an assistant. Once play restarts the referee cannot then go back to undo any decision previously made.
So let's say in your example the referee ended play after the goal and then realises that an AR has his flag raised the referee has a problem under the laws of the game. If however he decides to go with a kick off restart that allows the AR time to intervene and the referee can then reverse the decision to award the goal if he so wishes as he has not ended the game.
Also as Referee Wickham points out many referees restart the game and play for a few more seconds. That takes the pressure off the referee in these instances and the restart also separates players into the respective halves which can be helpful in certain circumstances.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The referee can end the match without restarting with a kickoff. The only time that time must be extended is to allow a penalty kick to be completed.

But, most referees will allow the match to restart. Why? Because it will lead to ill feelings by the team scored against. They lack a chronometer and will question why the match didn't end 10 seconds earlier - - before the goal was scored.

The laws of the game grant referees wide discretion to decide when the match has ended in the hope and expectation that the referees will use the discretion wisely.

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