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Question Number: 31215

Other 1/31/2017

RE: premier Adult

Ibrahim ishiaku of lokoja, Kogi Nigeria asks...


Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Ibrahim,
I've seen two incidents discussed on social media lately.
The first was a goalkeeper who, shortly after beginning the second half, asked the AR if he could leave the field to go to the toilet - apparently he was in desperate need! The AR said no, so when the ball left play at the other end of the field he jumped the fence behind the goal and urinated against a wall.
The second is a picture where players are in the centre of the field, looks like they may be preparing for Kicks From The Mark to decide the match (not certain though), and one player, away from the others, urinates on the pitch.
The Laws of the Game, understandably, do not specifically mention urination! So the referee needs to make a judgement on the action and how it fits within the laws.
The incident where the player urinated on the field is easy. Exposing one's genitals is highly offensive, and urinating on something is also a highly offensive act. Certainly disgusting and unhygienic, but they aren't against the laws. Offensive gestures are, so that's a clear red card for me.
If it was before the match or at half time then the referee needs to consider whether the pitch is now unplayable - the players may not want to risk contact with that part of the field for hygiene reasons.
The first scenario is trickier. The keeper has left the field of play without permission, but referees should show leniency when it is an urgent situation.
It wasn't on the field and he made some attempts at discretion. It may be distasteful, but I think the keeper tried to do the best he could in a desperate situation. I think a caution is justifiable, but I don't think I would be looking at a red card here. It really is the judgement of the referee.
Any other player could easily leave the field with permission. The goalkeeper is trickier - match can't continue without the keeper.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ibrahim
Two positions here. One is the Laws of the Game and the second is what is the advice to referees from associations.
If a player openly urinates in public on the field of play then it is offensive, insulting and abusive which is a red card. I have never seen this done openly. I have seen players going well away from the field of play discretely, one would assume to urinate, as there may not have been facilities available and referees need not get involved there.
So one has to be sensible here and opine that if it is done in a way that is discreet and not offensive then no need to take any action. Indeed one would have to makes the assumption as to what is happening in those discreet situations which is never the basis for a report.
On leaving the field of play to do so the player must ask permission which should be granted. One would expect the player to use what ever facilities are available, hopefully the changing room. I once had a player rush off after getting struck with the ball in the stomach. Play resumed and when he came back he explained that he had to go to the bathroom in the changing room urgently and it was left at that with no action taken. As Referee Wright states the game needs a GK so play must be held up for the GK to return.
On the advice side our Pro League advised that referees are instructed to issue a red card and/or removal from the technical area of any player, substitute or member of the technical staff found to be offending in this manner by urinating in public. At this level there are many spectators and team members are expected to use the provided toilet facilities. There is a very high risk in those games that the player may /will be seen so he is expected to go to the changing room.
A search of the web can show a number of incidents where players discretely went to the toilet on or close to the field of play and it is difficult to prove what in fact happened. No action was taken by the referee and no need for the referee to get involved in questionable incidents.

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