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Question Number: 31544

Law 3 - The Players 5/17/2017

RE: Competitive Professional

Fidel Jaary of Auckland, New Zealand, Auckland New Zealand asks...

What happens if a soccer player needs to use the toilet in the middle of a match?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Fidel
The player needs to ask the referee permission to leave the field of play and go to the changing room or toilet facility. The player should then ask permission to return.
The player should not go to the toilet in any location where he can be seen. Should he do so it is a serious offence punished by a dismissal for offensive insulting and abusive behaviour.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Fidel,
If a player needs to leave the field to use the toilet, a referee should give them permission to do so. Assuming the player leaves the field and goes to a proper toilet facility out of view of the spectators, there would be no problem. After the player returns, they would again need the referee's permission to re-enter the field.

There have been a number of incidents of players 'relieving themselves' by the side of the pitch where they could be seen by all and sundry. Since I am almost certain that no referee would give permission for this, the player should at a minimum be cautioned for leaving the pitch without permission and could well find himself being red-carded for insulting and offensive behaviour (this has happened on at least a couple of occasions that I have read about).

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Fidel,
I have seen some very coarse examples whereby a player runs off the pitch to relive themselves or throw up in some weekend warrior style brewski tournaments.

This is of the no time to stop and explain variety .

Unlike a simple, 'Hey ref need a trip to the loo!' request and you wave them off to go telling them to come back at the midline so you can see they are returning ad be waved in.

Or in the one case of a keeper in obvious discomfort I stopped the match to allow a substitution.

That said you need to equate the situation with the environment!

To run off into the bush besides the touchlines to do what you have to do is afar cry than in a stadium you are in the technical area peeing in the protective Plexiglas overhang.

If you an obtuse buffoon and seek to objectify those around you to your antics expect some repercussions if not considered as lewd and red carded for offensive and abusive actions likely cautioned for disappearing without a trace if you do exit to actually use a facility.

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