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Question Number: 31849

Law 5 - The Referee 10/1/2017

RE: Adult

Garner Felicien of Castries , Saint Lucia asks...

If a player is injured and on the ground can the referee show that player a yellow card

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Garner
Respect and good mechanics would suggest that the referee should wait until the player is standing and recovered from his injury before showing any card. In that way the player is then fully aware he is cautioned.
The Law is mute on the card showing mechanics other than it must be shown before play restarts which includes the player leaving the field of play. I have seen players stay down for a lengthy period hoping that they would not be carded when they stood up.
A few seasons ago I had to send off two players in a final and one player stayed down for a lengthy period. I waited until he stood up and got his full attention before showing the red card.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Garner,

Usually it looks more respectful if the referee waits for the player to get up, but occasionally he may feel it's important for control to show the card quickly. Also, if the player isn't looking like getting up under their own steam then the referee will have no choice but to show a card to the player on the ground.

The referee should really wait until it's clear that they're going to be stretchered off before make the decision - even showing it to a player hobbling off with their arms around the trainer looks better than showing it on the ground.

But there is no particular rule - this is simply recommended practice.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Garner,
Theoretically yes, they could. However in almost every case it would be better to wait until the player is up again. If the referee has decided that the player must be cautioned though, it must be done before play restarts and on the odd occasion where a player who is to be cautioned does not get to his feet again but is to be carried off on a stretcher, the referee has no choice but to show the card to the player anyway. This is relatively rare but I have seen it happen on a number of occasions.

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