Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 23382

The Technical Area 5/27/2010

RE: select College

mark.patton of Hayden, Idaho USA asks...

Under FIFA law (as opposed to modified league or High School rules), what is the proper procedure for dealing with coaches and/or bench personnel (assistants, trainers, etc.) who engage in inappropriate behavior?

Are they shown a card? Or are they simply dismissed (and notes of the dismissal written up in the match report)?

How about for substitutes on the bench?

thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Substitutes, being potential players, are subject to the showing of cards for misconduct. The same applies to players who have been substituted out of the game. The misconduct offenses they can commit are limited. Law 12 allows only 3 cautionable offenses, and since subs cannot commit fouls, it would be impossible to be sent off for SFP.

Coaches and other officials have only one recognized misconduct offense in the Laws - not behaving in a responsible manner. They may be warned - equivalent of a caution for a player and reported to the competition authority. Or they may be dismissed, and of course reported. The Laws of the Game prohibit the showing of cards to coaches, but some league rules call for it.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gary Voshol

View Referee Gary Voshol profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Under the laws of the game, cards are shown only to players, substitutes, and substituted players. Coaches and team officials may be dismissed for irresponsible behavior, but are not shown a card.

The USSF recommends a three stage procedure in dealing with most issues involving coaches (but the conduct of a coach may be such as to require an immediate dismissal). The three steps are: ASK, TELL, and REMOVE.

The 'ask' is a polite request that the coach act in a responsible manner.

The 'tell' is a formal warning that the coach must behave responsibly or the referee will have no alternative but dismissal. (My practice is to be public about writing down the time of the final warning in my book, which emphasizes its formality.)

The 'remove' is the dismissal of a coach who continues to engage in irresponsible behavior. The coach must leave sight and sound of the field.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 23382
Read other Q & A regarding The Technical Area

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.