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: 33685

Law 3 - The Players 10/2/2019

RE: Amateur Adult

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro , CA Sacratomato asks...

At half time, while both teams are off the field, a player for white earns a red card. Does the white team play one player down the rest of the game?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
Yes very simply the team plays short in the second half.
A dismissal with a red card applies at all times including before during and after the game.
Before the kick off the team does not play short and the player can be replaced with a nominated substitute and the substitute cannot be replaced on the bench. After kick off the team plays short. After the game it makes no difference just that the player will be sanctioned with a suspension in the same way as getting sent if during the game.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi George,
Yes, the team would play a man down. There is no exception to the part of the law that says a sent-off player cannot be replaced, just because it is half time.

The law is quite clear on this, stating that:

''A player who is sent off [...] after the kick-off cannot be replaced.''

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi George,
If a player earns a red card at half time then the team would play one player down, just like if they were sent off during game time. If a sub earns the card, then they simply lose a player off the bench.

If it's a player being sent off, then the team may try to pull the wool over the referee's eyes stating they subbed him at the start of halftime. Now, whether it's a game with limited or unlimited substitutions, the process is the same - it's not complete until the player leave the field and the substitute enters the field, and the referee's permission must be obtained.

So, in this instance, give the referee wouldn't have given permission - and the substitute would not have entered the field with the player leaving, regardless of what the team claims they would be a player down.

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 33685
Read other Q & A regarding Law 3 - The Players

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 33689

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 free 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. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>