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Question Number: 31207

Law 5 - The Referee 1/28/2017

RE: Level 8

Hannah Shay of Keysville, Virginia United States asks...

After a card is displayed to a player a Referee may not change or correct the decision but may provide relevant information in the game report if the card was displayed in error. Is this true or false?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

False. If play has not restarted or the referee has not left the field at the end of the half or terminated the match, any decision can be changed, assuming the referee realises or is informed by one of the other match officials that the card was shown in error.

I would say that this is a rare occurrence and should only happen if the referee realises that they have made a clear mistake in showing the card or is informed by another member of the refereeing team that something has occurred that would invalidate the card.

Please note that a referee should never, ever change a decision to card a player based on player protests.

If, after play has restarted, the referee somehow realises or is informed that an error was made then yes, that should be included in the referee's report.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Hannah
It is only false if the game has restarted or terminated. If play has not restarted or terminated the referee can change his decision which includes rescinding a card. Generally it only happens on the advice of say an assistant who may provide further information to the referee. Most times when a referee issues a card she rarely changes her mind or finds a need to change.
Perhaps on reflection after a game a referee might consider the card to be harsh and she can request that it be rescinded by the disciplinary committee in writing. All cards needs to be reported and it is a serious matter to not do so.

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