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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34409

Law 5 - The Referee 11/7/2021

RE: USSF grassroots Under 15

Brayden Swain Karmann of Fontana, CA US asks...

I showed a coach a red card after the match who used foul language (F-Bombs)at me after the match when he was signing the match report.
I was told I should not show the cards after the match, only during the match.
When in the Laws of the Game does it say this? I couldn't find anything that said cards are only to be used during the game.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brayden
Law 5 tells us that a referee
** takes action against team officials who fail to act in a responsible manner and warns or shows a yellow card for a caution or a red card for a sending-off from the field of play and its immediate surrounds, including the technical area..**

Law 12 tells us that
**The 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.""

So cards are used on the field of play and immediate surrounds to communicate to everyone present that disciplinary action has been taken whereas off the field of play the person on the roster sheet is informed that he is being reported for misconduct. A card is not required. Coaches can now be shown cards.

Is it wrong? Technically it is not required or advised yet I have seen Leagues question why a red card was not shown after the game off the field of play.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Brayden,
I actually once sent a query to the IFAB about the issue of showing cards after a match has finished and out of sight of the pitch, mentioning that the wording was a little unclear. Here's the answer from David Elleray (Technical Director of the IFAB):

"Dear Mr Grove,

The wording is deliberately chosen so the referee has flexibility to use the cards post the final whistle if it helps to calm or manage the situation.

In principle, this will rarely be necessary once the referee has left the field and its surrounds but it’s not forbidden."

I think that fairly much sums it up.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Brayden,
While a card can be shown when needed (just before, during and just after) it might be just as easy to look the dude in the eye and say that was uncalled for and I will include it in my report! If it was said out loud by the coach and done with malice and public derogatory then a public card to show your response is in my opinion appropriate!

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