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Question Number: 31546

Mechanics 5/18/2017

RE: rec Under 15

gary of nashua, nh usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31541

Thank you for that great response. I have ejected 2 spectators over 7 years on my own accord (one after I had the coach speak to a disrespectful crowd area). Should I be ejecting spectators directly or having coaches do it?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gary,
no one ejects the spectators they are asked and told to leave by the public pressure of you announcing the game will not continue and the immediate action of the other supporters and team officials beseeching them to leave
unless the local association has bylaws or codes of conduct where all are held accountable for actions on the field a referee does not have the actual authority to remove spectators. We usually approach the team to assist and if they fail to act or can not control said person we abandon in the best interest of the match safety to the players and to the officiating crew and the safety of those on the grounds. I have seen embarrassment used to force unpleasant individuals to leave but also seen actual fights in the stands erupt as the dispute about who forces who to go becomes ugly. This is when having actual access to security or local police patrols is useful.

Just remember if you make it personal by directly confronting the spectator there are some very obnoxious and mean spirited people. I find using the team to ie coach to control parents and fans is effective

You inform the team and the touchlines that as long as that individual is in attendance the game will not continue.
If there is security available they should be notified.
I inform the teams we are on hold until it is resolved but if it fails to be resolved we will not be resuming play!

In one local league to gain access to the grounds you signed a code of conduct. It stated under what conditions one could attend a match. The local police have permission to remove any individual acting in an unreasonable manner and that you could be banned from being able to trespass on the grounds

I find that placing teams on one side of the field spectators on the other side when I ask a coach to intervene they must walk across the field to talk. I found this highly effective rather than allow teams and spectators to be interspersed to where team supporters were in and around the team they were not supporting . Also team supports lined up on the side of the field facing the team players on the other side. This worked well in tournaments and when supporters are in the low hundreds. Of course once it goes into stadium mode then that arrangement does not work as well . But the ability to separate teams from the touchlines to allows things to get sorted rather than abandon immediately.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gary
Spectator control is the responsibility of the home team. It is the clubs ground and it can ask anyone to leave the ground that it so wishes. It also responsible for safety of person in the ground.
The advice is to ask the home club officials to deal with any spectator control issues. The game should be held up until the matter is resolved to the referees satisfaction. Referees should not approach any spectator directly for two reasons. One is personal safety and the other is that the referee has no control over spectators only participants in the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Gary,
The Laws of the Game do not give referees direct authority over spectators and it is the responsibility of the home team to control them. If there are only a few spectators at a game, it might be tempting for a referee to think that it could be possible to intervene directly with them but this does not always work out as hoped. At the top levels where there might be over 100,000 spectating at a game, there is no way that a referee could hope to directly control them.

So spectator control should be left to the home team representatives.

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