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Question Number: 30821

Law 3 - The Players 9/26/2016

RE: Competitive Flight 1 Under 14

A W. of Los Angeles, CA USA asks...

I have a questions about an extra player.

My son who is U13 had a fall league game on Sunday.

Since it was a hot day, the league enforced to have a mandatory water breaks.

After the 2 minute water break during the second half, the opponent team had 12 players, which the referees did not realize.
It ended up this extra player who came in after the water break scored a goal within 5 minutes after the water break ended.

The center referee realized that he was an extra player after the restart of the kick off from his goal.

The referee cautioned the player and asked him to leave the field, but the goal was awarded.

The play was kept going.

I read the Law 3 and it is stated that the referee must disallow the goal if the extra person was a player that scored the goal.

Our coach tried to tell the referee who allowed the goal that it should not be allowed.

Please let me know how the referee should have responded to this situation.

I am a team manager and also a referee myself and would like to know how this situation should have been handled.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The key here is that play had restarted with a kick off and once that happens a referee cannot then reverse or go back on a decision already made. It is part of a Laws 3 and 5 and I quote
Law 3** If, after a goal is scored and play has restarted, the referee realises an extra person was on the field of play when the goal was scored, the goal can not be disallowed. If the extra person is still on the field the referee must: # stop play # have the extra person removed # restart with a dropped ball or free kick as appropriate. The referee must report the incident to the appropriate authorities.**
Law 5 ** The referee may not change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if play has restarted or the referee has signalled the end of the first or second half (including extra time) and left the field of play or terminated the match.**
So the referee was correct in his call. He must though report the error to the league who could based on that report nullify the game and could order a replay.
It is part of the Laws that once play resumes in whatever fashion that restart wipes the slate clean so to speak on what decision that went before. It is for this reason that some referees never end the game on a goal. They always go with a kick off which allows ARs to intervene before the restart. However once restarted there is no going back to reverse a decision.
Now the coach IMO should be speaking to the opponents coach to suggest fair play due to the referees inability to go back to cancel the goal. If it were my team I would allow an unchallenged goal to rectify the error which one would like to think was a genuine one. If it was not a genuine error then the League should intervene to deal with it.

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