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Question Number: 20992

League Specific 3/17/2009

RE: comp Adult

chris of Loganville, GA United States asks...

No where in any laws of the game (FIFA, US FED...) does it mention that a red carded player must serve a suspension of a game or more. The player is simply ejected from the present game. I assume the foul is reviewed by a rules board who actually levies the suspension from future games. With the absence of such a ruling, according to the laws of the game, is a red carded player allowed to play the next game?

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

This is something handled by the various competition authorities around the world. In a circular many years ago FIFA recommended at least a one match ban in addition to the original match in which the player was sent off. You might want to check the by laws of the league in which you play. If there is a mention of a one match ban then you are obligated to sit out, if there is no mention you could try suiting up and presenting your player pass to the referee. Note: some leagues will hold the pass at least a week to ensure you sit for one match.


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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

You know what? No where in the Laws does it say that a sent-off player can't be replaced either.

FIFA have made it abundantly clear in other communications that a sent-off player must be suspended for at least one game.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Chris, since you're from Loganville I'm going to guess you've been brought up on baseball, basketball, and football (Go DAWGS!) where each and every possible occurrence in a game is painstakingly written down in excruciating detail. Not so in the world of soccer where the Laws Of The Game are short enough to actually read. This is because FIFA and IFAB do not take up space writing things down that they expect everyone to know. This is just one of many instances. Since everyone knows that a player sent off may not participate for a minimum of one game, it's not written down. Another is that a team cannot score directly on itself at any restart. Everyone knows this although it's not spelled out in the LOTG.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

Leagues establish their own disciplinary rules to address these issues. The laws specifically leave them out because there are so many leagues in the world.

The NFL or NBA for example actually write their own rules for the games played in their leagues, so they can also afford to add in disciplinary code beyond the actual playing rules.

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