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: 35089

Mechanics 9/2/2023

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


Assume that in the last moments of a game, player A9 is fouled by player B3 when one on one with the keeper. However, the central referee thought it was not a foul and therefore the game went on. After a while, the ball went out of play and the referee ended the game. Then, VAR suggested an on field review to send player B3 off for DOGSO. After the review, B3 gets sent off. At this point, should the referee restart the game with a free kick for team A where player A9 was taken down or leave the field since he/she once blown the final whistle?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Crebs ,
I suppose in the catastrophic event of headphone/microphone failure but at that level of play? For that to occur? Somebody is likely not going to be refereeing for awhile once the post game review is finished. Quite simply with the amount of communication and oversight, for the CR , the near AR looking in and VAR to be so far apart in timing and not have synced up a, "Hey lets examine this,!" via the headset and before, the match ended, seems highly improbable.

The CR, in communication with VAR would signal that review BEFORE ever ending the match. If the review was upheld, then yes we restart with the free kick adding any time lost. If a caution is warranted or a red card expulsion is attached to the misconduct of the foul in question based on the review of the foul then that occurs prior to the free kick which based on the one on one with the keeper suggests a PK .

Pks can be extended after a match expires but you cannot award a PK or a free kick AFTER the match expires! If the ARs or 4th were aware that the CR was in need of assistance or there was a VAR breakdown, it is possible to get the CR attention prior to the match ending using the buzzer pads attached as well as the flag signal to stop play.

A referee can change a decision before a stoppage, but once the match is declared over and time has actually expired , you are not likely going to reexamine a decision where the CR SAW the foul and chose to see it as not a foul . If there was a foul in behind that he DID not SEE, thus had rendered NO decision, it is possible to have a match end but in effect go back to that foul as a new phase of play much like ending it too earlier with a broken watch and the duration of actual time had not yet occurred! . ..

You say the ball is out of play so there is that stoppage, be it a throw or a corner or a goal kick as well as the game ending final whistle stoppage. which could use that moment to end the match rather than restart. The optics on such a condition would look so bad I doubt the officials would think it a good idea even if the CR had erred badly.
INSTANT communication by the VAR and knowledge that the match is coming to a conclusion should not permit a snafu like that to enter the equation. This again would call into question the credibility and professionalism of the CR, the officiating crew and the VAR.
Basically there should be enough checks and balances for the officiating crew to get tit right Cheers

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
Highly unlikely to happen based on the VAR advice.
The VAR official will be advising the referee on his head piece NOT to end the game as the incident is under review.
The correct approach is to hold up the final whistle, wait for the VAR review and then for the CR to do a pitch side review which will be either a foul, a direct free kick and a red card for a DOGSO or a penalty kick and if the challenge was a genuine attempt to play the ball then it is a caution for B3.
The restart could likely be the last kick / action of the game with the timing brought back to the moment of the foul. The referee would be expected to add on the time for the VAR review.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Crebs
In a game with VAR in use, the VAR team is in direct communication with the referee on a regular if not constant basis. Unless there were a total breakdown in communication technology, the referee would have been informed that a potential red card incident is under review and so will not end the game.

Assuming the VAR then gives the referee information that leads to an on-field review, and the ref decides a DOGSO offence has taken place (outside the area as your description suggests) the outcome would be a free kick and red card. I'm fairly sure that in this situation the referee would allow the kick to be taken but would end the game shortly afterwards.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 35089
Read other Q & A regarding Mechanics

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.