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Question Number: 29214

Law 7 - Match Duration 2/28/2015

RE: Adult

Steve of Liverpool, UK asks...

Hi,

During a game I attended involving our reserve side. We are 4-3 ahead with a minute to play,The home team are awarded a free kick on the halfway line. The free kick is taken and lands comfortably in our keepers arms which then clears the ball beyond the halfway line to which the final whistle blows. As the players start to shake hands a good 30 seconds to a minute after the free kick was taken the referee notices the linesman flagging. He then proceeds to award the home team a penalty..which is converted and then the game then resumes for a further minute after the centre kick.

Is there anyone out there that could clear this ruling up for me please, I believe if the referee has blown for full time his mistake was not noticing the flag and then can't resume the game to award a penalty. Thanks

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Steve,
Law 5 does state
THE REFEREE
• acts on the advice of the assistant referees regarding incidents that he has not seen
• provides the appropriate authorities with a match report, which includes information on any disciplinary action taken against players and/or team officials and any other incidents that occurred before, during or after the match

Decisions of the referee
The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.
The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.

The key aspect here is the timing of this penalty occurring and the FACT it was NOT seen by the Referee when it occurred. A missed flag is certainly a lousy way to end a match given it was for a PK in the dying minute of play!
The thing is a PK is the ONLY event for which the referee can extend a match beyond its scheduled duration.

LAW 14 PENALTY KICK
Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken at the end of each half or at the end of periods of extra time.

A match requires two EQUAL halves.

LAW 7 THE DURATION OF THE MAYCH
Periods of play
The match lasts two equal periods of 45 minutes, unless otherwise mutually agreed between the referee and the two teams. Any agreement to alter the duration of the periods of play (e.g. to reduce each half to 40 minutes because of insufficient light) must be made before the start of play and must comply with competition rules.

Penalty kick
If a penalty kick has to be taken or retaken, the duration of either half is extended until the penalty kick is completed

The fact the referee ended the match but only then looked up to see the flag raised is troubling . I have issues with the match being terminated but can see a flag unseen, if it is immediately pointed out as doable ONLY because it is a PK. For me the real bother is the play time added after the PK? I do not see how the LOTG account for finding additional time? He is basically saying the time played while the flag was raised was not applicable? Thus restarting the match as if the minute was still there to play? I know you could protest to get the match replayed as the duration of the match was compromised? You might get them to agree the match was terminated thus no pk was permitted but , quite honestly , feel uncertain about that point of law. Not saying those in your association review committee will agree but yes in my opinion the LOTG were altered. The PK, in my opinion, if the flag is noticed as the referee is just ending the match, taking the pk was legal albeit sucky the way it occurred. Still if the referee chooses to go with the NEUTRAL AR input it is what it is, poor communication/mechanics not with standing.

If the referee had erred in stopping play too early he could restart the match to finish time off correctly but I do not see how he finds new time given he terminated the match thinking it was over but unaware of the PK?

His playing the additional time though might get you a replay but IF SO, no guarantee you will get the tie next time, sounds like a close game regardless, you could lose a rematch? I should note often there are time limits and fees to pay and forms to fill out if indeed you decide to protest! No guarantee of getting the result you want either!

Cheers

PS let us know the results be interested to hear feedback thanks I would have bit my lip, apologised to all for being unobservant for not paying attention to my AR and award the PK but ended the Match then and there with no kick off! or additional play time! ONLY if the flag was pointed out as I blew to stop. Things can occur in behind a referee even as he whistles. If there was any degree of time elapsed once a match is ended then the idea one could go back is not valid in fact it is prohibited!



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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
The referee cannot change the facts of the Game or his decisions once the game has been terminated (declared over). Law 5 states and I quote
*The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.*

Now the question here is is whether the referee ended the game or not. What could have happened here is that the referee may have seen his ARs flag from what is described late or maybe not. The AR kept his flag up and then the referee whistled. There is no doubt that the foul happened during play which would result in award of the PK which would normally be the case on a late/ missed flag. Now this is where it gets difficult. Could there have been a case for players mistaking the whistle as one to end the game rather than to stop play or did the referee really end play? The issue is not the length of time taken to take the free kick. The real question is whether the game was actually ended or not and I suspect the referee will state that it wasn't ended particularly when he played another minute after the penalty kick.
If the referee states that he ended the game then according to Law 5 that is it. That though is unlikely to be the case.
Another possible consideration in these situations is where the referee makes a timing error and that he played say 40 minutes instead of 45. In that case the referee would have to see out the 5 minutes and the restart would be a penalty kick.
I watched a game recently on TV and the referee blew for an offside admittedly a very rare one as the offside player touched the ball deep in his own half. Players thought it was the end of the game as there did not seem to be an offence whereas in fact the whistle was to award the IDFK. Despite a few players / supporters celebrating there early joy was short-lived as they had to play for another minute of so. It made no difference though to the outcome.
In that situation the game was not ended just that some mistakenly thought it was.





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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi Steve,
thank you for a most interesting question to ponder.
I think it is appropriate to consider if once a referee signals the end of the game, can he change facts? The LOTG are pretty clear on the salient point that the referee cannot change the facts of the Game or his decisions once the game has been terminated (declared over). Law 5 is quite clear on this matter. Under Decisions of the Referee, the Law states:
The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.

In your situation though, just what are the ...facts...?
The referee blows the final whistle ...possibly incorrectly... thinking that time has fully expired!
After blowing the whistle, the referee sees the trailing AR waving his flag!
Law 5 does state the referee acts on the advice of the assistant referees regarding incidents that he has not seen
The assistant referee says the offense occurred before time ran out (based on the referee’s signal) and the referee decides to accept the AR’s information, then perhaps time has NOT run out, at least not yet.

A PK is the only restart for which the referee can extend a match beyond its scheduled duration.
LAW 7 THE DURATION OF THE MAYCH
Penalty kick
If a penalty kick has to be taken or retaken, the duration of either half is extended until the penalty kick is completed
LAW 14 PENALTY KICK
Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken at the end of each half or at the end of periods of extra time.
Given the short period of time involved, is the correct restart a penalty kick taken in extended time.

A clearer picture of the events might help formulate a better response. If it goes to protest the committee will want to know every detail
When did the PK occur? When was the flag raised and why was it NOT acknowledged?
What actually happened to draw this foul, who was involved and was there misconduct i.e. cards shown?
How long AFTER the whistle to end the match was the flag noticed?
A match requires two EQUAL halves so why was there additional time match time played after the PK was taken?

We would be most interested if you found out additional information and any reasoning or action taken if you were to pursue this through your association. My take is the refereee did not change the facts only knew about the facts slightly out of order then UNFORTUNATELY he did change the FACTS after taking the PK by continuing play to extend the match past its duration
cheers




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