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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35417

Law 5 - The Referee 3/30/2024

RE: Rec Under 19

Bob of Regina, Saskatchewan Canada asks...

Can a ref give a yellow card to a player for a misconduct committed before the match has started? If yes, does the caution carry over into the match?

Law 5.3 indicates that the referee has authority to take disciplinary action from entering the field of play for the pre-match inspection until leaving the field of play after the match ends (including penalties (penalty shoot-out)). If, before entering the field of play at the start of the match, a player commits a sending-off offence, the referee has the authority to prevent the player taking part in the match (see Law 3.6) the referee will report any other misconduct.

Does this restrict referee to discipline just red card offences? Can a referee issue a Yellow card pre-match? If yes, does the caution carry over to the match in terms of a first caution with a second equating to a red?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Bob
the LOTG were altered slightly.
If you research Q&A 35218 & 35224. They deal with the change of NOT showing a yellow card or attributing a caution before the match. prior to entering the FOP at kick off. The conduct is recorded and REPORTED in the match report. The player would still be able to be cautioned twice during the actual match before being sent off for a 2nd caution. I would certainly be warning a player who acted in such a manner that no excuses for similar action on the FOP is going to be tolerated!

You could and probably should show the red card to the player to inform him prior to the match if the conduct was a red card event and the player prevented from playing!
Given he is no longer able to participate then informing the coach/team must occur, because though his team still starts with 11 players they simply have ONE less person on the roster to act as a sub!
When you quoted the laws this bit at the end
(see Law 3.6) the referee will report any other misconduct.
This explains no yellow card or cautions

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bob
The Law was changed recently on this which you have quoted. A player can be cautioned with no card shown and that caution does NOT carry into the game if it happens off the field of play. Such a matter is reported only without playing consequences.

However a dismissal offence before the kick off means that a player cannot take part in the game yet the team does not play short. If the match card has been submitted then a named substitute will start in the dismissed players place yet cannot be replaced on the card. It does not change the number of substitutions just the number to chose from so say 5 from 6 rather than 7.

The key to this is where and when it happened. In the changing rooms or on the way out to the pitch the misconduct is reported only and it does not carry into the game.
Now the tricky one is out on the field when the referee and players have entered over the white line. Rarely does it happen yet my advice is to deal with it through a stern warning and then adopt zero tolerance after the kick off on the warned player/s.
It will prevent any questions marks on a caution before kick off while there will be little if any doubt about violent conduct as the player/s will not be participating.

It is a pretty rare offence and I personally never had to deal with it certainly not to the extent to needing a card.
I have had games of prior history impacting on the game yet that was dealt with on the field of play in a zero tolerant manner.

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi Bob,
the answer to your question has more to do with timing.
So No yellow card card is shown !
No carry over caution prior to kick off while not on the FOP.
These incidents occur in the change room, warming up , on the way down corridor to the take their designated spot on the FOP prior to the match start up!

The player if designated as a rostered starter is still a player and at some time during the match would have to receive two cautions within that timeframe to be sent off!

The LOTG were changed to ok the showing of a red card to signify the player is NOT participating for a VC act prior to the match but the sanction of the send off is not dependant on that, just the team, player, coach, competition authorities being made aware it is so. The team still starts with 11 players and have all their substitution options they just have one less person to .

Almost any ridiculous action that is cautionable during the match would lean towards justification of a red card for VC prior to a match, but if plausible any referee should rip a strip and warn said player that further conduct during the match that player is on the radar with only a razor thin margin of forgiveness.

from our pitch to your pitch in the spirit of fair play

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