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Question Number: 29599

Mechanics 8/12/2015

RE: Adult

Sam of York, North Yorkshire England asks...

I'd like to ask a question about 'fair play goals'

Moving away from what's sporting and what isn't, what are the rules about a team surrendering a goal on purpose?

If a keeper did this for money to affect a betting market, then it would be match fixing.

As a referee, is there a set rule or interpretation about opposition teams deliberately allowing another player to score?



Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The referee should allow a team to score against itself (even repeatedly), but should include the circumstances in the match report. The league can then investigate why the players did so, and take action if done for an inappropriate reason.

In 2002, a team in Africa repeatedly scored against itself (in protest of a referee's decision) and the final score was 149 (own goals) -0. The league later suspended the coach and several players.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Sam,
Although we often speak to the value of honesty and fair play or respect and self worth in life, the integrity of an individual is a personal choice of conscience. It is your own version of self respect and is a gift one gives to themselves, for it can not be taken, it must be surrendered and once compromised is extremely difficult to get it back.

I despise match fixing, as it goes against all that I believe in the sporting arena. Yet we know it occurs and we see it even if it might not be there, because we know that it has been there before and will again, at some time in the future.

As my colleague Ref Wickham points out the referee has the ability to record ALL circumstances within the match report of any perceived misconduct or actionable misconduct of a match be it he circumstances of own goals or even actionable non effort to engage in the match at all. I was lead to believe there is a security detail in Interpol that actually investigates match fixing charges of sporting events. Given how corrupt FIFA has become, hard to say what their own efforts in these matters are if they are dedicated to finding and punishing them or complicit in creating them?

I will point out though a team that deliberately allows itself to be scored upon after an incident where they KNOW in their hearts the goal they scored was rubbish albeit legal, it is a testament to the integrity of that team to recognize and respond by allowing an equalizer . The issue is, away goals and scores affect much more than a single match !

To the FIFA/IFAB credit they actually changed the LOTG to not permit DIRECT goals to be scored from the DROP BALL restarts, (if it does it is either a goal kick or corner kick) It was in response to accidental goals being scored by one team offering to return the ball after a fair play stoppage but the bloody ball would be over hit or bounce or one team member not clued in and a goal would result.
So there are those that still uphold the traditional values of sportsmanship and fair play and give us reason NOT to see what we think we perceive at times from certain referees or matches.

Cheers PS videos of fair play goals

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Sam
There is no law in respect of a team deliberately conceding goals. Generally Fair Play goals have been conceded by team who had a goal awarded unfairly and they want to even that up. That is of no concern to the referee.
Where it is a concern is if the referee believes that something untoward happened for illegal means such as match fixing. The referee will report it to the competition organiser such as the FA to investigate.
Thankfully those Fair Play goal concessionare are extremely rare situations although no doubt the Bury V Doncaster Fair Play goal may have prompted your question
The decision was one for the teams not the referee to make.

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