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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 31600

Law 18 - Common Sense 6/13/2017

RE: Select Adult

David DePriest of Franklin, TN USA asks...

Can a player on the pitch whistle at a teammate to communicate if his/her whistle sounds similar to the referee's whistle?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi David ,
not the greatest idea (although credit the ability) how do you expect players or a referee to act? Especially if it DOES affect play?
It will be looked at as USB if it causes an issue. Why bother, a simple support call works well.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
I believe that if this happens it will cause ire among the opponents as they will claim distraction. If it is done deliberately to deceive or distract then that is USB which results in a caution and an indirect free kick restart.
My advice is to look at the context on the first time it happens and decide if it is a deliberate act or not. If questionable then play should continue and the referee should speak with the the *whistler* asking him to desist from this form of communication.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi David,
I would imagine this is a mostly hypothetical question and I would say this is fairly unlikely to happen. Most top referees nowadays use whistles which generate a tone quite unlike anything a human could produce. However if it did happen and was used to distract an opponent, it would be considered as USB and treated accordingly, as my colleagues have outlined.

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