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Question Number: 23669

The Technical Area 7/13/2010

RE: competitive Adult

Steve of Granby, Quebec Canada asks...

This question is a follow up to question 23643

thanks so much for responding!!!
There was not to my knowledge, an injury or an illness to the starting ref, it was more of a I'll take the first half you take the second kind of thing. The reason I'm seeking something in the Laws is because the second half ref red carded our coach for arguing about an obvious foul. The card came out so fast...he's watched too much TV, anyway, really uncalled for. So if the substitution were not allowed I'd get something in the game report about it.
Again, great job, thanks for helping me understand The Game.

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

If it was an obvious foul, why was the coach arguing about it?

I notice you say the coach was shown the card. That is not in compliance with the Laws of the Game either. Coaches may be dismissed for not behaving in an responsible manner, but the card is not shown.

I suspect this league has some loosey-goosey procedures and is affiliated on paper only. They don't appear to follow the directives of FIFA. Changing referees 'just because' is not a valid reason.

One other thought I have, was there a 3rd referee in the crew? If not, perhaps both of these refs were assigned as assistants, and when no center referee showed up they waffled about who was to fill in. Neither wanted to do the game, so the compromised and decided to each do a half. Not right, but I can understand their thinking.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

In my area, the assignor decides who will center a match and would be displeased to find that the referee team decided to switch roles. It would not affect, however, any of the rulings on the field of play by the referee. It only would affect future referee assignments.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
This referee certainly did not watch too much TV as a coach is not shown a red card in FIFA games. I would make the point as well that tolerance levels on abuse varies between referees. This referee obviously felt that what was said went beyond an acceptable level and therefore he was entitled to remove him from the game. This will be reported to the relevant competition authority.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Perhaps the coach has learned to approach the referee with a question about a call in a more circumspect manner? Arguing with the referee is a no win situation - as your coach discovered, I'm sure, to his chagrin. The referee needs to remain impartial, and if he lets a coach appear to win an argument, his authority erodes with the other coach. I am not talking about a coach who asks a question respectfully, because those (assuming it isn't on every whistle or call) should be answered in a professionally quick and respectful manner, and coaches need to also understand the players and the game are the referee's focus, and dealing constantly with the coach is not good for the game.

There could be any number of legitimate reasons why the referees switched at half time, but if you have concerns, I would suggest contacting the referee assignor and asking him or her for thoughts. If the assignor doesn't know this is happening, it is hard to fix.

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