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Question Number: 30903

Law 7 - The Duration of the Match 10/16/2016

RE: Under 14

Peter of Tarporley , UK asks...

The ref blew the final whistle for the game.
The players shook hands.
I noticed the opposition manager talking to the ref.
Then to everybody's amazement, the ref suddenly called the two teams back stating there were still three and a half minutes left.
With our players slightly bewildered and without any consultation with me, blew to restart the game.
My players were stunned as the opposition were top of the league and we'd played out of our skin to be leading when the final whistle was blown.
Because my team were unsure of what was going on,
the opposition broke from the ' kick off' and after a couple of phases scored the equaliser!
Could you please tell me if a ref can restart a match without even consulting the manager of both teams and the players?
And he mentioned there was 3 minutes to add on yet played 6!
The ref and opposition manager had a good laugh when the game finally finished.
Thanks for your help.
Peter Robinson.
Head coach. Tarvin AFC

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
Reads like poor mechanics here. Now the *BIG* question is whether the game was ended or not and what caused the referee to decide to restart play. Also another important decision is how play was restarted.
Let me deal with the restart first as that is the easier part. If the referee stopped play inadvertently then the restart is a dropped ball from where the ball was when play was stopped. If the game was ended incorrectly while the ball was out of play then that is the restart that the game continues with. For example if the game was ended inadvertently on say a goal kick before it was taken that is the restart. You mention * kick off * yet there could not be a kick off as a goal was not scored?
Now the more difficult decision is whether the game was ended or not. Law 5 tells us that * 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. *
Terminated the match is not clearly defined yet generally at the higher levels one expects that the referee blows to end the game he has in fact terminated it. However if there was a clear error in timing in lower level games such as playing 30 minutes instead of 35 the referee could correct his error by playing the 5 minutes in error, provided no one has left the field of play.
BTW there is no onus on the referee to consult with anyone other than the players. It would though be good game management had the referee said to you that he made an error in the timing and that he planned to play out the time, plus explaining how that happened.
I once had a timing issue in a U14 games with a team I coached. Referee played 32 minutes instead of 35. Opposing coach was none too happy. Referee explained to me that he thought it was 30 min halves and added on two minutes of added time. Should have played 37. Anyway ref told the irate coach he was going to report him. Not sure it ever happened!
As to any recourse the matter could be appealed to the League. I suspect though that the only possible grounds for upholding an appeal would be on an incorrect restart such as a kick off when the restart should have been a goal kick, dropped ball or whatever.
Hindsight is alway 20\20 vision yet I wonder what would have happened if the team had left the field of play?

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Peter,
there is an issue with the way this was perceived by you in the appearance of collusion by the referee and opposing team manager . No doubt the shared laughter of the two was heartfelt as if it was directed towards your team's misfortune thus was difficult to not think something was unfair. I can only hope that was not the case for a referee without integrity has no place on the FOP.
Sigh ugly mechanics aside it is a horrible way to finish up a match, but if the referee DID err on the time, most unfortunate but he must have a NEUTRAL source or be made to realize his mistake on his own volition . It is not unwise or unfair for any one to point out, Hey ref its 45 minutes not 40 or 40 not 35 as often youth leagues have various time elements switched about. The LOTG do state that two equal haves must be played. It is a unusual amount of time to arrive at as left unplayed, 3 & 1/2 minutes. yet you say you played 6 minutes?

You stated the match was restarted with a kick off? That is highly suspicious given, HOW did the referee initially end the match? Where was the ball? Had you JUST scored? Only then is an opposing kick off plausible as the OFFICIAL restart. The restart MUST conform with where the ball was when the CR first thought the match was ended.
If this was not the case you have every right to file a protest although time and money are usually part of the package. In your appeal state the circumstances EXACTLY. The fact they scored as a result of the kickoff, if it was NOT the correct restart is indefensible on the part of the referee !
Keep us posted be interested in how the league responds if you do protest.

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