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Question Number: 31057

The Technical Area 11/27/2016

RE: rec Adult

Nicky MacInnes of Seattle, WA USA asks...

in MLS, can a team member who is not playing in a game due to injury sit with the team on the bench during a game? example: the Sounders' Clint Dempsey with an irregular heartbeat.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nicky
It depends on the competition rules. Many competition allocate seat close to or beside the technical area for panel members. The 4th official though has to be able to identify those that are participating in the game and they may be required to wears bibs.
For games at the FIFA WC not more than 23 people (11 officials and 12 substitutes) are allowed to sit on the substitutes’ bench. Clearly only three from seven named can participate so there are 5 panel members allowed for in the technical area. Some competitions go as far as to allocate seats behind the technical area which look part of same.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Nicky,
interesting though why is it a concern? Generally team personal are limited in the roster as to who gets to be in the technical area but if the completion rules allow it I see no reason to think it improper? He likely is not listed as a player or substitute given he cannot participate but as a team official . That though is pure speculation.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Nicky,
This would depend on what exactly the rules of competition say but as far as I am aware, a team can designate pretty much anyone they want as a team official (e.g. assistant coach, goalkeeping coach, tactical advisor etc) and subject to an overall limit on the number of people allowed in the bench area, that person would be allowed to be on the bench.

It is admittedly, probably more common for injured players to sit in a separate area, often in the stands just behind the substitutes bench/technical area but as mentioned, unless the competition rules somehow precluded Dempsey being there, I don't see why it wouldn't be permitted.

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