Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 31599

Law 6 - The Other Match Oficials 6/13/2017

RE: 300l High School

Gerald Ebuka of Owerri, Imo Nigeria asks...

Is the referee ever allowed to overule an off side Call from the AR.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gerald
Yes by all means. AR are there to assist the referee yet it is the referees decision to accept the flag or not.
There can be situations where the AR has missed something and has flagged for offside. The referee if he sees that it is in error should wave down the flag and indeed must allow play to continue
Have a look at this video
The assistant referee thinks that the ball is played forward to Blue in an offside position yet the referee clearly sees that it is a Green player that plays the ball to the opponent which cannot be offside. The referee clearly allows play to continue and overrules the ARs incorrect flag.
My colleague Referee Dawson has given some other good example of referees overruling an assistant referee much to the ire of the conceding team. The referees were correct in doing so and fully supported in Law.
The old adage of Play to the Whistle applies. The referee is the ultimate decision maker and AR only give advice or an opinion to the referee. He can decide to accept it or not depending on the circumstances.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gerald,
the CR is still the FINAL word on any match decision.
The AR is self explanatory to assist the centre referee!
All hail the video referee for anew wrinkle into the decision by the CR

An AR raising a flag is publically stating their opinion something happened contrary to THE LOTG & is asking the CR to stop play so it can be dealt with.

NO player should EVER stop playing because an AR raised a flag to signal the referee for that is ALL that it is. ALWAYS play to the whistle!

The CR can chose to disregard the flag because he is aware of something the AR is not or has a different opinion on the event.

Now if the CR & the AR error on the decision we now have the introduction of the video referee at the elite level in time possible for the 2018 Russia World Cup

Not to dissuade the referee has final say when a video assistant referee is used. According to the VAR protocol, the relevant parts in this regard are as follows:

''2. The final decision will always be taken by the referee.
3. Video Assistant Referees (VARs) are match officials - any information the VARs provide to the referee will be treated by the referee in the same way as information received from an assistant referee, additional assistant referee or the fourth official.
6. Only the referee can initiate a review; the VAR (and the other match officials) can only recommend a review to the referee.
Once the review is initiated, the referee has the option to:
- make a decision based only on the information received from the VAR or
- review the footage directly before making a final decision (on-field review - OFR)''

According to the protocol, the OFR should only be dispensed with ''for factual decisions such as the position of an offence or player (e.g. offside), point of contact on the body for handball or a foul etc''


Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 31599
Read other Q & A regarding Law 6 - The Other Match Oficials

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.