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Question Number: 22719

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/13/2010

RE: Rec Adult

Matt of Little Rock, Arkansas USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 22710

Can a player sitting on the bench, named as part of the squad ( a player waiting to be put on the field by his coach in place of another) be red carded?

He has not yet played but he is a potential player being named as a sub, and he is yelling obscenities constantly at the referee and actually threw an object at another player.
Even though he hasnt yet played can he be red carded? Would the team still play on with 11 they would just be 'down one sub'?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson


If he is a legitimate substitute he is under the authority of the referee! Any foolish misconduct that he decides to commit which carries with it a send off sentence, the send off can be administered to the substitute, he is shown the red card without him ever setting foot on the field. The offinabus and violent conduct are both send off offences!

The fact is such a send off of a bench personnel does not affect number of allowable players on the field! The substitute is removed but his team does not have to remove a player from the field! Simply one less bench personnel to exchange with!!

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Under the laws of the game, a player, a named substitute, or a substituted player may be sent off and shown the red card. The team only plays short, however, when a player has been sent off.

Coaches and bench personnel can be dismissed for irresponsible behavior, but they are not shown a red card.

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Answer provided by Referee Tom Stagliano

A team will play with one less player if a Player is dismissed from the game.

A player is anyone who is listed on the starting line-up from the moment the whistle to start the game is sounded to the moment the referee permits a substitute to replace that player.

Any player, substitute, or player that has been substituted out of the game may be shown a red card. Bench personnel (others who are allowed in the technical area as long as they behave responsibly) may be sent away from the technical area and reported to the league, but are not shown the red card.

NOTE: In some youth leagues for which a coach is Required for the game to be played or for the game to continue, the league may ask the referees to show a red card to a coach if the coach is dismissed, but that is a local variation only for youth teams (U17 or younger) for which the players are not adults and for which an adult must be present to supervise the team.

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