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Question Number: 27667

Character, Attitude and Control 8/16/2013

RE: Competitive Under 16

vernon of barrington, illinois 60010 asks...

Situation: On losing team, a pouty, attitude-heavy 15 yr old boy (who was cautioned earlier in the match for UB) refuses to join handshake line after match. Instead he goes to pout on the bench in a display of disrespect to the opposing team. So while the handshake line was forming, I loudly and authoritatively said to his coach, 'Everybody shakes hands!' The player then grudgingly joined the line. My question is, should I have just let it go or is it my place as a referee (particularly at this age level) to promote sportsmanship? As per mechanics after time of the match has expired, if a caution for UB is issued (which in this case I did not caution), would a card be displayed as would on the field, or would the booking just be noted in the referee report? Your answers are always entertaining and educational. Thanks.

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Nothing in the laws of the game provides that 'everyone shakes hands' after the match. Few local rules of competition require it. It is a sporting tradition. The referee has no power to enforce a sporting tradition. A private chat with the coach (if she is not aware of the player's conduct) is usually best.

You should thank your lucky stars that your choice to publicly shame a BU16 player into shaking hands did not result in a brawl. Fortunately, this young man handled the situation well. I've seen cases where it did not.

That said, if a player or substitute commits misconduct after time expires, but while the players are leaving the field of play, a card may be shown.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Vernon
The most recent high profile failure to shake hands was in the Premier League last season. The referee simply ignored the breach of protocol and it was left to the teams / League to deal with it.
In this case I would simply ignore the situation as it is not part of the Laws of the Game and it is up to teams to manage this not the referee.
As regards misconduct by players after the game the referee shows the relevant card while still on the field of play.

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