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Question Number: 21615

The Technical Area 7/3/2009

RE: Professional

Neguse Tekeste of Asmar, Eritrea asks...


The LOTG states clearly that the coach and other officials are occupants of the technical area and must behave in a responsible manner. A player of his team made a foul and the referee awarded a FK to the opposing team and the coach made complain against the referee my player made a cautionable offence so you should caution him but the referee told him to behave in a responsible manner but the coach continude his complaint and the referee ordered him off. Is it permissable such complaints by the coach even he knows the LOTG very well or the decision of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final.Could you please clarify me because I have never seen such coach's complaint before.

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

You are correct that coaches must behave in a responsible manner and may be dismissed by the referee if they do not. Most coaches act responsibly. Some will honor requests or warnings from the referee. A few must be dismissed.

The latest changes to the laws of the game will permit one coach to remain standing in the technical area after giving instructions (rather than returning to the bench). It will be interesting to see how this affects their behavior in the technical area.

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Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

The game is to be played with as little interference as possible. While that statement is primarily intended for the referee (not to stop play for 'trifling' offenses, etc.) it can also be expanded to include any and all outside interferences -- which includes the coach. We as referees would not put up with such behavior from players on the field, neither should we have to tolerate such conduct from those in the technical area. It is especially difficult for that AR or 4th who must be a 'captive audience' to hear a constant berating, etc. of the decisions of the referee. This is unprofessional, inappropriate and brings the game into disrepute. Players key off the behavior of their coach, who, knowingly or not, sets the standard of acceptable conduct. When a coach acts irresponsibly, the effect of his behavior can be seen in how the players conduct themselves in terms of their response to and respect for the decisions of the referee team. This is why FIFA requires those in the technical area to act responsibly.


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Answer provided by Referee Nathan Lacy

I see that you are referring to a professional level match. The comments provided above are most certainly accurate and appropriate. Something else to consider at this level of play is the psychological effect that the coach wishes to invoke on the game. What I mean by this is does the coach WANT to be sent from the field in order to ignite his players? Is the coach pushing you in order to get inside your head and bias your calls towards his team (a bit more obvious aspect)? Is the coach trying to send some type of message to the other team's bench personnel and players? Or is there some other attribute of the game which he is trying to influence by this behavior? It is our job as referees to figure this out and choose our response accordingly. Clearly these aspects should not affect our decision regarding irresponsible behavior but certainly we should be aware of these types of tactics so that we do not become pawns of the coach, as much as possible, when we do go to enforce the LOTG in situations such as this. All the best,

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