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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33349

Law 5 - The Referee 5/15/2019

RE: youth Under 15

Andy Colbridge of Edinburgh, Midlothian Scotland asks...

How long is the referee in charge after the game, can a referee send off a player after the game , what is the cut off point

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andy
Law 5 tells us that a referee has the authority to take disciplinary action from entering the field of play for the pre-match inspection until leaving the field of play after the match ends (including kicks from the penalty mark). If, before entering the field of play at the start of the match, a player commits a sending-off offence, the referee has the authority to prevent the player taking part in the match; The referee will report any other misconduct.
What all that means is that is that any person connected with the game can be sent off as part of the game and the person can be reported for misconduct committed after the game.
For example if a player uses offensive, insulting and abusive language towards the referee in the changing rooms after the game the referee can report that player for misconduct. No cards are shown.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Andy ,
the referee is large and in charge from the time he is there in the pre game while you are coming out of the change room to the time you depart the field back into those same ones. Its not so much you are sent off given the match could be over, it is the disciplinary actions that take place as if you HAD been sent off during the game will still apply as the referee still has the authority to show a yellow card or red card or if redundant simply report the misconduct in the match report. Thus acting in a reasonable manner does not including showing the middle finger as you depart or deciding that you just have to say or do something to someone that is misconduct that should you have done the same at any point in the game that could be a cardable offence. Players at the elite level have been shown cards in the hallway waiting to enter the pitch for misconduct directed at one another BEFORE the match and again as they depart the field after the final whistle for confrontation with the officials in a hostile manner. If a referee is to write up a player after the match ends and not show the card he should make it known to the team coach /manager that such action is being undertaken if at all possible. In a local darby a referee was confronted in the parking lot AFTER the match . It was not technically a red card shown per say as the authority issue was unclear given the player had exited the FOP earlier but a 16 game ban followed after a police report with criminal action was filed .

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Andy,
It depends what you mean by 'sending off' a player. The law says the referee has the authority to ''take disciplinary action'' during the time frame quoted by ref McHugh. After the game has ended if all the players and the referee have already left the pitch, a player is not really sent off as they (and everyone else) are already off the field. Also, once the players are already well away from the field of play, cards are not usually shown as they don't really serve the purpose they were originally designed for. However any misconduct by a player after a match has ended should still be reported by the referee and the player will be subject to disciplinary sanctions in the same way as if the conduct had occurred on the field of play.

Under the Laws of the Game, there is no specified 'cut off point' so it's up to the referee to decide whether any misconduct that might occur, still comes under the parameters of a game-related situation. For instance, as ref Dawson mentions, even an incident occurring in the parking lot as the referee and player(s) are leaving could still be reported if it happens in the overall context of the game and the player/referee dynamic still pertains.

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