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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35095

Mechanics 9/6/2023

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


short question, please.

Law 6, Part Fourth official says: 'The fourth official’s assistance also includes:
• the re-entry of a player following a signal/approval from the referee'

Does the referee actually signal every re-enter? Because it seems to me that in reality the return of the players is handled by the fourth official and there is no communication with the referee. :-)

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
In the pre match a referee may delegate this to the 4th official with clear instructions as to what is required. There can then be implied consent of the 4th officials actions for return players. It can also be delegated to ARs yet that will not work in every situation due to the movement of ARs on the touchline.
In Pro game situations most if not all referee crews are fully miked which includes the 4th official so there would be communication between the referee and 4th to allow re-entry of the player.

One way or another a signal is given to the player that they can return by a match official.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,
always good to hear from you!
in the professional ranks the communication via radio/mike /earphones etc.. makes it fairly easy to stay in touch with one another. The CR can delegate responsibility to his ARS as well as 4th to be his proxy in allowing subs in or out or if players are out temporarily, injury equipment issues, as long as they enter at the correct spot and sequence of events that permit the exchange to occur are followed correctly. Players are NOT permitted to exit or enter the FOP without approval of the CR official. You generally get an arm wave by the referee when not radioed up, however, IF he granted his minions ARs /4th that control , then the players could likely follow the AR or 4ths permission to act on their say so based likely on the verbal go ahead they received via the headphone!


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