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Question Number: 31029

Mechanics 11/17/2016

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31022

The debate about the temperamental antics of a player storming of the FOP without the permission of the CR, and seemingly not to return could have one other aspect to consider.

At general park level footy, overall it probably is of little point to issue a caution as the Panel Refs indicate.

However, lets suppose the player has accrued enough points from previous cautions during previous matches, that one more caution would have them automatically ruled out of a following match(s).

Lets suppose that next match was a critical match in that particular competition. That could be a big deal to whomever the next opponent is.

Not to mention, that letting them off for this indiscretion is not teaching them the etiquette of sport.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Russell,
not untrue, however, as I said, you might have to do what you might have to do if given no choice!
As for life lessons, one could think their own team mates might remark on this away from the pitch. Our duty is to the other players in the match so they can enjoy their participation as well. The repercussions for such antics at the elite level could be career ending, enormous fines, possibly legal contract consequences a bit of a difference then to act in a childish manner as to take the ball and go home and cry over a football match. At the recreational level I rarely concern myself with league politics although I might be a tad familiar with the leagues bully boys or bad apples out on the pitch . At the elite level often the referee is well aware of the players status and who is on cautions or could be missing the following match based on one of their decisions. That is because the FIFA or elite officials pregame is much more involved then anything you experience at the local levels.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Referees should not concern themselves about previous cautions or disciplinary action. The referee is there to officiate A game under the Laws of the Game as best as he can. He uses whatever powers available to him to control that game for the benefit of the two teams.
Sure one could argue that a referee that does not caution a player in the last minute of a game for say dissent could also have the same outcome. Certainly at the higher levels of the game I suspect that referees do take cognisance of whether a player is on a caution or not in competitions where two caution result in a one game suspension. I can think of multiple situations where I felt referees were unduly lenient or where players missed finals, next game because referees had no choice but to caution players.
At the lower levels of the game I would say that players let alone referees know the caution accumulation and they wait for the League to inform players.
BTW I have said to many players what do they not understand about being already on a caution. A recent situation was a case in point. I had cautioned a player for a foul challenge early in the game. Later in the 2nd half he dissented at a decision to award a foul. I called him forward and he probably thought he was going to get a 2nd caution. I asked him the question about did he understand that he was already on a caution and told him that if he came to my attention again he was going to be cautioned. No further trouble from him for the remainder of the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
It is an oft-stated principle that a referee should not be influenced by the previous behavior of teams and/or players, but should only consider what goes on during the match currently being refereed. I think the same could be said of being influenced by the future ramifications of any disciplinary action taken.

The referee should officiate the game as an entity unto itself.

While you may have a point about how being unduly lenient might not necessarily send the right message to a player about future behaviour, nevertheless the possibility of additional sanctions from the competition organisers should not enter into the referee's thinking.

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