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Question Number: 25855

Law 3 - Number of Players 12/25/2011

RE: Adult

John Greer of London, England asks...

I was wondering what happens if a team has 4 players sent off and then one of the remaining players gets injured or commits a sending off offence after all the subs are used with scoreline at 0-0.
Does the game get abandoned and the match awarded to the team with most players as a punishment to the team with the players who got sent off.
Or does it get replayed.
If the second, i would think this would be most unfair.
I have heard of teams deliberately trying to get the match abandoned when they are playing with 7 men.
I would award the match to the other team and fine the offending team heavily.
I would also increase the normal punishment to the players who got sent off.

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The game is abandoned. Law 7 says, 'An abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules provide otherwise.' So the resolution of the game is left to the governing authorities - the league, the tournament organizers, etc. Most leagues have some policy of deciding a forfeit against the offending team, even if that rule is, 'the disciplinary committee will decide on the outcome.'

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Leagues that follow FIFA's recommendation will provide for a match to be abandoned with less than seven players on a team. But, what happens next is entirely left for the league to decide. The disciplinary committee is not required to order the match replayed. Some will consider whether the reasons were beyond the team's control - weather, field conditions, scheduling mishaps, etc . or whether the team members were not in control of themselves.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
In the sending off situation that brings a team to 6 players the game is abandoned. In the injured player situation the referee gives the player the opportunity for treatment and to return to the field of play. The player could return and not play a full part in the game. That would ensure that the game is not abandoned. If he does not return the game must be abandoned
In relation to the censure for the team that caused the abandonment that is not a matter for the referee. I believe the disciplinary panel would take a very harsh view of such behaviour based on the referee's report. In know of one game that was abandoned recently where a disciplinary panel ruled against the team that caused the abandonment and awarded the game to its opponents. The panel though must have the powers to award a game through its competition rules. Sometimes that is written that the League can accept the score of the game at the time of the abandonment.
In the UK the sanction for causing a game to be abandoned is very severe and the tariff is a 112 days suspension compared to tariffs of 7 days for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity and 35 days for VC. In addition the Club would be fined heavily so it is not something that a club should do without expecting serious consequences

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 25855
Read other Q & A regarding Law 3 - Number of Players

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 26547

See Question: 30033

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