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Question Number: 28535

Law 7 - Match Duration 6/20/2014

RE: Adult

khaled of Saedinenie, Choose region Bulgaria asks...

Karim Benzemas on Switzreland got me thinking. What if the ball was in the air when the ref blew the whistle, should a goal count if the ball goes on to the net just like in basketball? I imagine it would have been a big question had France needed that goal to win.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

When time's up, it's up. So when the referee blows his whistle, that's it. It doesn't matter if the ball is already in the air or not.

However, given that stoppage time is somewhat imprecise, referees will rarely blow for half/full time when a shot on goal is imminent.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Khaled
When time is up no further play is allowed. So if the ball is in the air when the whistle sounds no further play is allowed and no goal can be counted unless the ball has crossed the goal line before the whistle.
The wise referee will normally allow the outcome of a kick to happen and then blow the final whistle. Finding 2 or 3 seconds in 90 minutes plus added time is never an issue as timing is never that precise.
The Benzema incident certainly will have caused a lively discussion at the referees' debriefing and committee meeting. I would have allowed the goal and ended the game with a kick off. If the goal was saved or the shot went wide the game could have been ended at that time. I think FIFA would have expected that to happen as well.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

When there is something as important as the ball in the air heading toward the goal, the wise referee will not divert his eyes to his watch to see the last seconds of the game tick away. Timing is imprecise because the ref is given discretion to adjust for wastage.

Now that doesn't mean that we let an attack go on indefinitely. It is not fair to the defenders to have to defend any longer than the allotted time, plus the allowance for stoppages. If something is likely to happen in a moment or two, allow that moment. But don't keep looking for more moments.

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