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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33594

Law 3 - The Players 8/24/2019

RE: Rec Under 16

Doug Crawford of Moraga, CA US asks...

Hi Refs - advice on when a red card results in fewer players. I thought that a send-off w red card issued before the game meant the player may not take part in the match, but the team can still field a full component of 11, or however many is a full team.
I interpreted the start of the match to mean when I blow the whistle giving permission to take the kickoff.
I had also thought that a caution before the start of the game should not count towards a player's total of allowable cautions before dismissal.
Do I have this right?
Thanks as always /Doug

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Doug
Thanks for the question.
In all my days refereeing I never had to deal with misconduct before a game so it is in my view a pretty rare occurrence.
Anyway your interpretation is correct. The start of the game is the signal and kick of the ball at the kick off.
If a player is sent off before that he can be replaced by a named substitute so the team does not play short. The substitute is not replaced on the bench. So it is then say 3 from 6 subs rather than 7 or whatever number of substitutes the competition rules allow for
If a substitute is sent off before kick off after the roster is posted again he is not replaced on the match card yet it does not effect the number of substitutions.
Cautions issued before kick do not count in the game and they are simply reported as misconduct.
Now I have seen and heard stories of shenanigans in the warm ups between players and if it is witnessed it has to be dealt with. The most infamous one was Roy Keane of Manchester United and Patrick Viera of Arsenal in the tunnel just before kick off. Referee Graham Poll was in charge and he had to step in along with players from both sides to deal with it. No cards were issued and at that time doubt was expressed as to whether the referee could have sent them off before kick off. Opinion was divided yet that is irrelevant now as action can be taken from the moment the referee arrives for the pre match inspection until he leaves.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

You are correct a red card issued prior to the start of the match ,the team DOES NOT PLAY SHORT! They lose one off the roster to be available for substitution. They still have all substitution opportunities, just 1 less player to choose from.. However actionable misconduct that results in a yellow card for a player is only reported it is not carried into the match. Cheers

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