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Question Number: 33180

Law 5 - The Referee 3/24/2019

RE: Under 11

Jerry Sapp of Arlington, TN United States asks...

Today Barttlet vs Jackson wolves my daughter caught and Had control of the ball and then she got kicked in the head and released the ball and another player scored after she was injured that is not fair play can I file charges against the official

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jerry
As described that is a foul and a card for either a reckless challenge (yellow) or serious foul play (Red).
Now what did the referee see from his / her angle of view? I can assure you if the referee saw a player getting kicked in the head that it would be dealt with as outlined above.
Clearly the referee did not see what you described.
Now you mention about filing charges? I am unsure what you mean by that. In a soccer context the Laws of the Game state that and I quote ** a referee or other match official is not held liable for:
# any kind of injury suffered by a player, official or spectator
# any damage to property of any kind
# any other loss suffered by any individual, club, company, association or other body, which is due or which may be due to any decision taken under the terms of the Laws of the Game or in respect of the normal procedures required to hold, play and control a match.**
A referees performance can be reported formally through a club to a match assignor who can then arrange for a referee to be observed during subsequent games to assess the officials refereeing ability in foul recognition etc. If the referee is a senior match official of long standing of undoubted experience and ability that will not be necessary and it simply may be a discussion as to what happened and what was seen.
At Under 11 this incident was no doubt an accident with no malice by the opponent. At least that is my experience of games involving very young players.
Have a look at this video
Now look at the same challenge from a different angle.
The referee on the day Mr Mike Riley a senior FIFA referee and his assistant stood some 5 yards away did not see the contact and nothing was given at the time. Based on video evidence as shown in the second video from a different angle Van Nistelrooy the Red player was charged with serious foul play by the English FA for the kick on Cole the blue player on the knee. The player was suspended for three games based on the video. It demonstrates what can be seen / unseen based on angle of view from the referees position. Had Referee Riley or his assistant seen what was shown in the video he would have acted appropriately. Sometimes that just not happen due to being un-sighted, in a poor position etc.
I hope your daughter is no the worse for the incident which sometimes happens in the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jerry,
I'm sorry to hear about the injury to your daughter - I hope it's not serious and that she recovers soon. I agree with ref McHugh that if the referee had seen something matching your description, there would have been a foul given and almost certainly a card issued, so we can only assume that the referee did not see the incident the way you describe it.

As for 'filing charges' - well to start with, as ref McHugh also states, this would seem to be precluded by the Laws of the Game although there should of course be a way within the local regulations to report a referee's performance if it is considered inadequate. However if all that has happened is that the referee has unfortunately missed a particular instance of physical contact, I'm not sure that necessarily indicates any major performance deficit by a referee.

In a sport like football (soccer) incidents of physical contact causing injury do occur - my daughter had been playing since the age of 5 and has had various injuries including one time when she was kicked in the head and had her nose broken. Although it was done by a team mate rather than an opponent, even if it had been done by an opponent and the referee had missed it, I can honestly say I would never have even dreamt of filing charges against the referee for it.

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