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Question Number: 34861

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/5/2023

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


I have a question regarding VAR review for a potential red card.

Assume that player A5 fouls on player B10. In the opinion of VAR, it is a red card but the referee misses the foul and keeps the game going. Then, team B retains possession for a while but after that, team A has the possession and scores a goal. In the buildup of the goal, player A5 doesn't touch the ball. After the goal, VAR calls the center referee for a potential red card review. In this case, would it be correct for center referee to both allow the goal for team A and issue a red card to player A5? Given that there was no infringement during the buildup of the goal and player A5 (player to be red carded) did not touch the ball during the buildup of his/her team's goal.

Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
A goal cannot be awarded when a player from the scoring team has committed a red card offence even when the player is not involved in the subsequent play. It is a team game and one of the tenets of the Law is that the scoring team cannot infringe the laws
To quote Law 10 ""A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar, PROVIDED that no offence has been committed by the team scoring the goal."" Capitals by me.

The advice is that play should be halted as soon as possible in a "neutral" zone that is neither team is in a good attacking situation or a goal-scoring position. Certainly on a red card offence the VAR official should have a pretty good view and opinion of this so the advice to the referee on the head phone should be to stop play as soon as possible after Team B lost the ball. It is never a good position for match officials to be in where a goal has to be disallowed, a player sent off and the game restarted according to the red card offence.

Anyway this should be a reasonably rare situation as a referee at the level of game where VAR is being used should be getting cardable fouls. A review if needed can change the card from a caution to a dismissal or vice versa on the advice of VAR yet the foul should be seen in the first place.

You will note that in review situations referees do not allow play to restart while that review is taking place. That is to be in line with the Law about not going back beyond the last restart. There is am exception in the case of violent conduct, spitting, biting where a referee has allowed play to restart after missing an assistants flag for the offence can still dismiss the player. The same applies to a VAR review.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Crebs,
While we think no referee CREW should miss a red card event and wait for a VAR review to find out, the LOTG do state that no team that breaks the LOTG while playing is entitled to score a goal in their favor. It does not matter if the foul is a simple offside, a penal foul, a technical foul or even if it was cardable action ( yellow or red). Your example has no stoppages just a missed call that eventually makes its way into the consciousness of the referee

If you recall the 2006 World Cup Final, France’s best player Zinedine Zidane was shown a red card after headbutting Italian midfielder Marco Materazzi in the chest. The Zidane headbutt was a red card event apparently spotted by the 4th official. However, this is DIFFERENT then your example which is continued play and an eventual goal as the reason to stop play because here, the referee had already stopped and restarted with a DFK in Frances' favor for an Italian handling foul.

Although we suspect the stoppage was for the injured Italian player as the Italian actor Materazzi was still rolling around the field or whether the referee was already aware of the VC the referee via intercoms, he did stop play.

He showed the red card to Zidane and the restart was a drop the ball that Italy returned to France as a courtesy given France had ball possession WHEN play was stopped. Back then they could both compete for a DB. We felt the DB was for an injury stoppage.

It was argued at the time if a INDFK for stopping play solely to show a card could be a better restart given a stoppage and restart HAD occurred! Can you imagine if a GOAL in Frances' favor had occurred? It would be in effect a good goal due to the restart resetting the criteria of an unchangeable decision In my opinion only, I believe this incident as well as the foot into the chest in South Africa were reasons used to implement & create VAR as well as change the conditions of restarts.

VAR has MASSIVE communication advantages with the main rational of getting the decisions correct ASAP so a referee would have to be brain dead not to utilize the credible neutral input before stopping and restarting play. If it was a required stoppage, exposed by VAR that went unseen by the on field officials, (thus no decision was reached on the foul/infringement or VC itself one can go back to that point in the game PROVIDED no restart had occurred in the mean time. The goal required a kick off restart but BECAUSE of the VAR info that does not occur and the red card incident can be dealt with as NEW info. The fact the player who created the incident does not figure in the lead up to the goal is not relevant. The TIMING is!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Crebs,
The way that you describe this should not happen if the VAR protocol is correctly followed. If the VAR team spot a missed red card offense they would immediately inform the referee that a VAR review is required and the referee will stop play as soon as is practically possible, thereafter.

So there realistically should not be a scenario where play would continue "for a while" with multiple changes of possession, leading to a goal eventually being scored without the play already being stopped by the referee on the advice of the VAR team.

Now, if this did somehow inexplicably happen or if events had unfolded more quickly and play had gone immediately up to the other end, and a goal had been scored before the referee could stop play, the goal would not be allowed because as ref McHugh already indicated, Law 10 clearly states that a goal can only be scored:

"provided that no offence has been committed by the team scoring the goal."

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