Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 33530

Law 5 - The Referee 7/20/2019

RE: Adult

Grant Rae of Montrose, Angus United Kingdom asks...

The ref has blown for half time then the assistant calls him over for a penalty, should the penalty be taken?, as the half is over!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Grant
Law 5 tells us and I quote ** The referee may not change a restart 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 abandoned the match. ** Law 14 tells us that ** Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken and completed at the end of each half of the match or extra time.**
The key word in the Law 5 sentence is AND. As the referee has not left the field of play he can accept the input of the AR and allow the penalty kick to be taken
I assume the assistant referee came to the referee to advise him of what he saw. If the referee agrees with the AR then the penalty decision can and should be given with time extended for it to be taken. The half ends at the moment the kick is completed with no follow up play allowed.
Poor mechanics here got the referee into difficulty. If he had seen the AR flag he could have stopped play for that flag before signaling the end of the half.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Grant,
poor mechanics here has resulted in a possible volatile situation because of the delay in getting information from the AR who witnessed the PK foul to the CR who obviously did not. In rec soccer the vacillation of true focus & attention to detail with flag & eye communication between various experienced officials plus no radio can have the CR blow for half time or full time perhaps unaware the AR in behind has seen something he missed
Now had the AR flagged it and was standing with it raised as the referee blows the whistle it will be an easier sell of the foul DID occur before the half ended . If the AR FAILED to flag and only came over to point out what he saw at the end? You could get a greater amount of dissent should you acknowledge the NEUTRAL information as a legitimate PK foul but you need to weigh the circumstances & timing. I have seen a missed flag be acknowledged the DFK though was just OUTSIDE the PA but occurred in behind play the flag had been raised for over 20 seconds. He allowed the DFK and added 20 seconds of play time. I have seen a PK awarded with no flag raised because the AR witnessed a strike just before the whistle sounded and was just going to raise the flag In both cases the CR called the teams back and resumed play.
It was argued the DFK was not correct under the laws given the CR blew for half time but the CR said his missing a flag created a delay & he could add time, that he was not extending time. In the PK incident, only the keeper and the kicker were permitted to take part. Time was EXTENDED to allow the PK but no after play .

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Grant,
As per the wording of the law (as given by ref McHugh above) the referee can still change a decision if they have not left the field. In fact, now that VAR is in use, there is even an exception to this, as follows:

''However, if at the end of the half, the referee leaves the field of play to go to the referee review area (RRA) or to instruct the players to return to the field of play, this does not prevent a decision being changed for an incident which occurred before the end of the half.''

As a matter of principle and procedure, there isn't a massive conceptual difference between a VAR and an AR informing a referee of an offence they may have missed.

So I think the principle that a referee who receives information about a missed incident from another match official, can go back and award a decision for that incident, even after blowing for the end of the half, is fairly clearly established, so long as the conditions mentioned in the law are met.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 33530
Read other Q & A regarding Law 5 - The Referee

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.