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Question Number: 30743

Law 7 - Match Duration 9/10/2016

RE: Competitive Under 10

Brian of Red Hill, PA United States asks...

Can/should a ref blow the whistle to end game while corner kick is in the air? The result of the kick was a direct goal, but ref waived off goal because he blew whistle while ball was in the air signaling the end of play.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
Yes the referee can end the game at any time as he is the sole timekeeper. Should he do that? Well it all depends on the timekeeping method he is using. Some referees stop their stopwatch for all stoppages and when the watch reaches zero they end play no matter where the ball is. Others have a less exacting method where they stop the watch for injuries and add on an allowance for substitutions etc. Using the latter method it is easy to find a few seconds to see a play out such as a corner or a free kick.
The most infamous incident such as this was when Referee Clive Thomas ended a Brazil v Sweden game in the 1978 World Cup on a corner kick which was scored yet disallowed because the whistle was blown while ball was in the air. Technically allowed which it still is yet it was seen as not the done thing. I believe FIFA was none to pleased with the actions although the referee did nothing wrong. He blew the whistle at 45.06
If I was in a similar situation and I wanted to end the game I would do so before the kick. No need to wave off anything then

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