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: 35055

Mechanics 8/6/2023

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


two VAR questions, please.

1) Decision is changed after restart for violent conduct or mistaken identity. Where is the new restart location? (if the referee stopped the game because of it)

2) Situation: The referee awards a free kick. However, the contact occurred in the penalty area. VAR is of the opinion that the contact was insignificant. Or feinted by the opponent. Or contact did not occur at all. Will VAR intervene?

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
1. The advice is that play should not restart until the review has been completed by VAR so the restart is for why play was stopped. It is for this reason why the delay can take longer than usual if there are multiple incidents to review.
2. If the incident involved simulation then VAR must intervene and advise the referee. If the review shows simulation the player is cautioned and the restart changes to an IDFK. In the case of minimum contact that may not be seen as a clear error by VAR so no intervention is required. The referee may be better positioned to evaluate the level of contact on the field rather than by video.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,

This has more to do with your 2nd question because I am a bit confused on the 1st?
VAR intervention in terms of fairness is based on the right decision being made! The CR is still the person in ultimate charge of a yes it was, no it was not, contact decision. Look at the Referee in the Nigeria / England match after conferring and rewatching the PK decision she awarded, she then reversed her decision, CORRECTLY in my opinion/ There was minimal contact and to a degree I thought the England player really OVERSOLD the contact to where a caution could be considered as she flipped over rather dramatically, or so I thought. The referee used the DB restart to the keeper for the whistle signal she used to stop play as a foul is now an inadvertent whistle blown by accident. No caution, but there was no real argument over the need to do so. Nigeria was just relieved there was no soft PK given. England never really seemed upset that it was reversed likely the player herself knowing it was rather mundane! Make no mistake they would have taken the PK but I think even they realized in context it was rather weak and victory, while sweet, is tainted when things are gifted!

When a referee is investigating the information VAR is giving one can only go back so far to restart for the reason in terms of carding misconduct for an event unseen. Yet even if it is additional looking at an event not seen clearly, but cautioned, as was the English player stomp on the back of the Nigerian player, a stupid action that was petty retaliation and was not vicious just profoundly unacceptable. Red Card but restart remained the same! It takes time so the wait to accumulate review the footage and then let the referee see that same footage. Remember the referee is being talked to by VAR by the 4th the ARs all suggesting or pointing out stuff we are not privy too. It is usually the best to go with why play was stopped then fit a specific event into the correct timeline. I red card #3 for VC but VAR says are you nuts it was #5 hopefully I just go out rescind the card show the correct one and restart accordingly. If I sent off a player restarted then VAR says hey it was #5 I am in a world of hurt. Yes we can stop and correct such a horrific decision INDFK restart from ball location but that ref lives with chances of not getting assignments in the future. COMMUNICATION use it !

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 35055
Read other Q & A regarding Mechanics

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

See Question: 35058

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.