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Question Number: 31693

Law 18 - Common Sense 8/9/2017

RE: Rec Under 19

Jack Smith of Manteca, CA US asks...

Debated question. When a player is ejected from the game, can they return to the field, at the end of the game, for post-game handshakes. Due to the ejection, is not the player ineligible to return to the field, for any game related item.

A primary issue being that during the handshakes, the ejected player will come face-to-face with the player that they had issue with (verbally, or physically). This could lead to further issues during the handshake.

Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

For high school games, the handshake is not part of the game, so the disqualified player is not restricted from participating. As you indicated, confrontations are possible during the handshake. This is why after the game handshakes in high school games are prohibited in some states and by many high schools.

I hope that you have a successful fall season.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi jack,
once a player is dismissed or a team member ejected they are not to partake in the match and stay away from the field area. In youth matches where adult supervision is likely a mandatory condition sending them out to wait in the parking lot or bus might not be feasible so they could remain within the bench area.
While I applaud the idea of fair play and the principle of sportsmanship those who insist regardless of the outcome, that it is mandatory to shake hands after the game I think it a bad idea to make it policy. I believe it should be a personal decision because the number of foolish incidents such as spit on the hand, hands slapped, unsavory comments or gestures made, by forcing those immature or angry persons to participate becomes a last minute unnecessary headaches such as you indicated.

That does not mean a truly sorry individual, who say on a rash tackle, hurt an opponent, could not offer a heartfelt apology should he ask permission to do so after the match! Or if there is an award ceremony to participate in as the match is over

Integrity is a self respect characteristic that you have or you do not it is not something you can force from another it must be freely given or it means nothing!


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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jack,
The IFAB law says only that ''A player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area.''

Since post-match handshakes are not part of the laws, this particular situation is not covered. As my colleagues have already mentioned, there are various reasons why such a practice is not a particularly good idea and I personally have not operated in a league or competition which requires it.

My advice would be that a player who was sent off should not be involved but that is just my personal opinion. There is nothing in the law covering this directly but for me, if the player is required to leave the vicinity, they should not be coming back onto the field at the end of the game for handshakes.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jack
As the game is over referees should not be getting involved in the return of ejected players unless it is a cause for further issues such as violent conduct etc on the field of play. If a player returns and is respectful to everyone including participating in a handshake then no issue and I would let it slide.
We have all seen sent off players return to collect a medal in post game ceremonies.
What we have to be careful is of ejected players coming back to get involved with players, officials in a hostile way. The referee has little powers to prevent or restrict the movement of players after the game although he can and should report further misconduct. I would let the teams and their staff sort it out and just add into the sending off report what is seen post match. I might if I knew the team well enough to *advise* them to remove the player. They can take that advice or not as the case may be.

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