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Question Number: 35218

Mechanics 11/11/2023

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

This question is a follow up to question 35213

Thanks! I still have an additional question.

Mr Dawson writes this: 'What is different in todays LOTG is that caution is of its own separate entity. That caution would not count towards a second caution should that player receive another one AFTER kick off.'

I think it's more likely to happen after the match (f.e. first YC in the 54th minute, second YC after final whistle).

Will the player receive a red card (2xYC=RC)?

Or is it also a separate entity? If I take it into account, one player could receive up to three yellow cards per match (before the match, during the match and after the match). :-)

Do they all count towards his stats? I ask this because it plays a big role in bans for further matches. :-)

Have a nice day.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The law makers IFAB allow referees to impose discipline from entering the field of play for the pre-match inspection until leaving the field of play after the match ends (including kicks from the penalty mark).
We are told that for cautionable misconduct off the field of play the matter is reported only and the matter is NOT brought into the game nor a card shown. So if that same player was to get a caution in the game it would not be a sending off for a 2nd caution.
IFAB does not want a player to be sent off for what would be seen as a single caution DURING a game.

I also know from experience that Disciplinary Bodies have difficulty with the no card shown situations before kick off and after the game that happen OFF the field of play where no card is actually shown. The red card dismissal before and after the game is easier to deal with in that the player is prevented from playing and most likely to have a red card shown on the field or surrounds. Same would apply to a yellow shown on the pitch after the game.

For what it worth I have been involved in the game for a long time and I have never had a pre match or post match caution matter off the field. I have cautioned players for dissent after the final whistle on the field plus dismissals for violent conduct, offensive, insulting and abusive language/ gesture. In those situations the card is shown.

So technically while it is possible to have three cautionable misconduct events with only one card shown experience tells me it is extremely rare with most of the off field conduct gets somewhat ignored. Human nature being what it is I doubt many referees would be able to give a player engaged in cautionable type offences off the field any benefit of the doubt on the field.
I know that Leagues have sanctions for misconduct committed on social media where disparaging remarks can be made against officials. Once reported these are dealt with with a sanction.

So my advice is to keep it simple and reserve cards for onfield misconduct. I stay away from players until the pre match kit inspection and then after the final whistle make my way to the changing room. In contentious games I will more than likely hold well back until the field has been cleared of players so that confrontations if any can be limited.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr ,
if I confused you it was unintentional, perhaps it is better to distinguish the difference by NOT saying "caution" instead call it pre-match USB before a match that occur are not carded nor counted in the number of cautions totaled they are RECORDED as USB or VC activity, they have disciplinary implications but there is no 3rd card count as the off the FOP incident is not considered a 1st caution. The LOTG were changed in 2016 principledly due to the way the professional referees are sequestered and not roaming about the FOP all day long unlike recreational officials. Players acted up inside the tunnels as well waiting to enter the pitch. One of the reasons they addressed the carding issue ! No one sees it!

This is what the IFAB Q&As states
“” The referee notices that a player is committing a cautionable (yellow card) offence on the field of play during the warm-up before the kick-off. What is the correct procedure?
The offending player cannot be cautioned, or a yellow card shown, as the offence has occurred before the referee has entered the field of play at the start of the match. The incident is reported to the appropriate disciplinary authorities.””

What I alluded to was back in the day! That player I cautioned showed a yellow card while warming up on the FOP was while I was inspecting the pitch and doing the team pregame. I most definitely would have counted that as a 1st caution and after the match began I would look at any cautionable activity that required showing a yellow card as a 2nd caution and the red card send him off 100%! Today no longer so. We do not show the card ONLY record the incident in an auxiliary match report addendum. We should make the team coach/manger and player aware of it. Even as a neutral official once a player is on our radar for being less than stellar, while he is not targeted, you can be sure we cut him little slack if he reenters our vision.

What the LOTG state today is we are not to show a yellow card before a match even though we could send off a player for any VC within our scope of responsibility. So if we witness a USB action that we WOULD caution if in a match, but that occurs before kick off we record it but do not show the card. If that same player in the course of 90 minutes was cautioned say 67 minutes, subbed out at 70. Then after the match final whistle rushed on to the FOP to dissent and yell at the referee he could be shown a 2nd yellow card and cautioned thus a red card shown for a second caution to go with the prematch USB. Referees do not have anything to do with disciplinary action taken away from the FOP so as to the stats or how they might affect the players is out of our control.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
As my colleagues have now clarified, a player who commits misconduct (short of a sending off offence) before a game starts, is not officially cautioned or shown the yellow card. What happens is that the misconduct is reported to the relevant authorities.

In addition to the Q& A quoted by ref Dawson, I also sent an enquiry to the IFAB about this. Here is their response (abbreviated and paraphrased slightly for clarity).

" ... under Law 5, a YC cannot be shown before the referee enters the field of play at the start of the match ... a player cannot be ‘cautioned’ prior to that time.

Therefore, whatever misconduct occurs (except a sending-off offence) is reported but not as an official caution. This allows the authorities to take the appropriate action, which may be greater or lesser than if the offence occurred during the match and been punished with a caution (YC)."

I hope this clears things up for you.

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