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Question Number: 31269

Law 5 - The Referee 2/16/2017

RE: Adult

Mark Redmond of Guildford, Surrey United Kingdom asks...

If a yellow card is given to a player for a offence on the pitch, does a referee have to restart the game with a whistle. Therefore not allowing the game to restart with a 'quick free kick'?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mark
That is correct. The player that is being cautioned has to be afforded the opportunity to retake his position after the caution. The referee also has to take the details which means that he has to hold up play until he has the details recorded.
It is only fair for the game to restart on a signal.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mark,
once we go the route of cautioning or showing a card we SHOULD whistle the restart, that said the LOTG only state that we signal and that a whistle is recommended. So the only question is did the referee unfairly affect the substance of the restart by not adequately signaling so everyone was aware of what was transpiring? Personally I use the whistle EVERYTIME for a stoppage when I stop play to show a card. IF play was already stopped say I cautioned for event in between the restart like a delayed throw in I might simply say, 'Get on with it!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mark,
If we take it that a quick free kick means one wherein the timing of the restart is chosen by the team taking the free kick, rather than being decided by and requiring a clear signal from the referee (often referred to as a 'ceremonial' free kick) then you are right, the game cannot be started with a quick free kick when a player is to be cautioned.

The relevant part of the law states:

''Once the referee has decided to caution or send off a player, play must not be restarted until the sanction has been administered.''

This means in effect, that the taking of the free kick must wait on the referee being ready for it to happen after having completed the process of issuing the caution, which excludes the possibility of what is normally referred to as a ''quick free kick.''

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