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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 31907

Law 5 - The Referee 10/15/2017

RE: Club Competitive Under 13

Brendan Mullen of Westwood, MA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 30813

The CR blew the whistle for full-time. Pointed to the Center of the field to indicate the end of the game. Players were walking off the field towards sideline.

Immediately before the ref blew final whistle the AR on one side of the field had flagged an infringement (hand ball in the penalty box) bu the team leading 1-0.

The opposing coach drew the refs attention to the flag and the CR consulted the AR and restarted the game and let the penalty be taken. Penalty was scored - tie game.

Should the ref have restarted the game to allow penalty be taken?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Brendan,
For me, I think the right decision has been made. If an offence occurs just before the final whistle, play can be extended to allow for a penalty kick to be taken.

Now, I know the law says that the referee cannot change a decision if they have signalled the end of the game and left the field of play or terminated the match but in this case the referee had apparently not left the field and I am not 100% sure what is meant by 'terminated' here, whether it refers to a match being abandoned or just finished in a more normal sense.

In any event, I think a 'common sense' or 'spirit of the game' decision here is to acknowledge that the game was ended by mistake and allow the penalty to be taken.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Brendan,
if a PK occurs PRIOR to the end of the match the CR CAN accept the input of the AR if the event if it was unseen by the CR as he was blowing for full time to end the match. The reason is a PK is the ONLY free kick to where the match can be extended to take it. If there was just a foul it would not be a reason to restart if there was MISCONDUCT attached that could still be recorded and if a caution or a 2nd caution or direct red card the sanctions for the next match would apply.

Now GIVEN this was a DELIBERATE handing in the PA for the referee to MISS an AR flag highlighting this event, for the players not to go ballistic and for the referee not to be aware only looking at his watch pointing to center no eye contact with the AR is really poor mechanics and terrible communication.
While the PK can certainly be taken but within the post game review this WOULD come up? HOW & WHY did I dig this hole?

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brendan
Poor mechanics here by the referee has created this issue for the game. He ended the game prematurely without checking with his assistants that there was nothing needing to be dealt with before doing so.
As it turned out a flag was missed for an offence which resulted in a penalty kick. I am not sure how that happened as there must have been shouts / appeals for *handball* which one would think should have necessitated a look across at the AR to ascertain his opinion and a decision made as to award the offence or not. If it for situations like this that referees try to go with a restart such as a goal kick, kick off etc or wait for play to get into a neutral area before ending the game. A glance around at both ARs to see that they are not flagging is good practise
Now this is what Law 5 says
** The referee may not change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if play has restarted or the referee has signalled the end of the first or second half (including extra time) and left the field of play or terminated the match.**
The key word here is AND in this sentence. The referee in your case has signalled the end of the game yet he has not left the field of play. So he was entitled to make good his error by ending the game prematurely. The game restarts with a pensly kick and ends immediately with that one kick.

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