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Question Number: 22825

Other 2/16/2010

RE: Adult

karl of northamptonen, england asks...

we had a game with a serious bad ref, at half time he stated that he was going to abandon the game if he got any more abuse!
it was not abuse it was players moaning because of bad decisions made by himself
i no that this is not aceptable but he was bad,,,
so can he take the decision to abandon a game because of it?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

From Law 5, Powers and Duties of the Referee: 'stops, suspends or abandons the match, at his discretion, for any infringements of the Laws'

Constant 'moaning' is dissent, a caution. Add to it remarks questioning the integrity of the referee and it becomes offensive, insulting or abusive language, which is a sendoff offense.

All of these are infringements of the Laws, and multiple instances of them could cause the ref to abandon the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Considering you've taken the time and effort to come onto a public Q&A site to tell us how 'bad' he was I find it extremely difficult to believe that nobody on your team abused him.

Regardless, constant 'moaning' and dissent are still completely unacceptable. As Ref Voshol states, he's perfectly within the laws of the game to abandon if he feels like the players are carrying on too much.

Conduct yourselves with a little bit of maturity and accept that referees, being human, WILL make decisions you don't like (and guess what? Sometimes it's the ref who's right and you're wrong!), and may even (gasp!) have a bad day. Of course, I'm guessing most of the moaning players have never put their hand up to have a crack at the job themselves and see how hard it is. No, much easier to whinge at those who DO have the guts to try it out.

No matter how many mistakes you think he made, I guarantee you that you had players on your team who made far more.

Treat the referee like a field condition - just like a muddy goalmouth, there's not a thing you can do to change it. Just accept it as part of the game and get on with it. Seriously, what are you trying to gain by moaning about the referee, except a few cards?

Think about it.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Karl
The simple answer to your question is Yes he can abandon for whatever reason he wishes and he simply reports the matter then to the relevant CFA.
Decisions, right or wrong, are part of the game and players who are guilty of dissent by protesting (verbally or non-verbally) against a referee's decision must be cautioned. Indeed if he dealt with dissent with yellow cards, as he should, he would very quickly get to red cards and even more unsatisfactory situation.
I might also suggest that your club sign up to the FA's Respect campaign. If the Code was implemented and followed fully there would be no need for any referee to make the threat of abandoning a game for whatever reason.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

Yes he can. Per law 5 the referee can stop, suspend, terminate, or abandon a match. He would then fill out a match report and the league would be notified.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino


The referee could abandon the match, which is within his power. He may do so for any infringement of the laws at his discretion. So technically, if he didn't like the way one player tripped another, he could, in theory, abandon the match. Of course, that is hyperbolic example and a referee would never do that.

You may or may not agree with the referees decisions, but let me ask you to put the boot on the other foot. Imagine, if you can, that you were the referee. You are making the calls as you see them in the best way possible, and then 11 players from one side whine and bitch and moan every time you do anything... how long do you think you would be able to tolerate that from so many people? Eventually, you would get fed up and just want to go home, no?

Take it easy on the referee next time. Besides, if you think the referee's doing a bad job, do you think it helps your cause to treat him poorly and make him dislike your side? You're not going to change anything, and in fact, could be drawing more attention to your poor behavior.

Do you know what happens to a person who is constantly being distracted from their job? They don't do it as well. So maybe the constant crying from your side distracted the referee, causing him to be less able to make accurate decisions. If that is the case, you've created your own problems.

Finally Karl, I see that you're from England. It's a great country, and you should be proud to be from there. However, I'm sure your countrymen would not be so proud to see how poorly you spell. I might suggest taking a few English lessons. That should help you in the future.

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