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Question Number: 31722

League Specific 8/20/2017

RE: Small Business Tournament Professional

Diego of Panama, Panama asks...

Due to weather conditions (lightning, rain) we had to stop a game in the second period.

We were playing a 40 minute game (20 and 20) and the game has to be stopped at minute 32. So there are 8 minutes that we couldn't play.

In a 90 minute game, we would have played 72 minutes, and there would still be 18 minutes remaining.

By FIFA rules, do we have to postpone the game? or can we call it finished?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Diego
Referees should endeavour to complete the game wherever possible. A referee does not postpone the game. He can abandon a game and only a League can postpone. So a decision has to be made by the referee on whether the game can be completed or not and the factors that have to be taken into account are
1. Is there sufficient time and light available to finish out the game
2. Are the conditions for the stoppage over such as the lighting storm has passed.
3 Is the field of play playable
4. Is the delay too long or likely to be too long that restarting play would be detrimental to the players such as players have cooled down, some have other commitments such as work, it makes no sense to wait for an uncertain restart time etc.
5. Is the mood of the players and teams that they do not want to restart after a lengthy wait such as waiting for an ambulance for a serious injury or illness or uncertain weather improvement
So the time the game has to stop makes no difference to the restart which is a game decision made by the referee yet it does in determining the outcome under the competition rules. For instance if the game is abandoned there can be a competition rules that states that if X minutes are completed that the result may stand if the reason to abandon was not caused by a team yet due to poor light, weather etc.

As a rough rule of thumb many competition rules state that if 90% of the game or x minutes are played a League may decide that the result might stand for an game abandoned due to the weather. That through is no concern to the referee. The game is played or as much thereof that does not put the players at risk. If the game ends on 72 minutes then so be it and the fact reported to the League who will decide the outcome.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Diego,
The referee can only decide what happens during the match itself, including whether to abandon the match before its scheduled ending time. The referee should report the reasons and circumstances for the abandonment to the competition organisers but has no power to decide what happens afterwards.

The Laws of the Game say that: ''An abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules or organisers determine otherwise.''

In my experience, the competition organisers almost always decide what will happen. The most common decisions are for the game to be replayed, declared finished or sometimes, to have just the remaining time played out.

If (as it sounds) you are involved with one of the teams, your best course of action would be to contact the competition organisers for a decision.

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

H Diego ,
the referee will abandon the match for the stated reason but only the league or ROC will decide if it is replayed in entirety, partially or the result accepted as is. The referee has no say in the matter!
from our pitch to your pitch in the spirit of fair play

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