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Question Number: 31993

Law 5 - The Referee 11/5/2017

RE: Adult

Terry Martin of Londonderry, londonderry asks...

when is the latest time a red card can be issued

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Terry
A card can be shown on the field of play and surrounds immediately after the game. Once off the field of play and surrounds cards are not shown for misconduct yet players can still be reported. This is what the FA advises its referees which would be common with most associations
** The referee has the authority to take disciplinary sanctions from the moment he enters the field of play until he leaves the field of play after the final whistle. This includes the half time interval. Any incidents which occur out-side of this window must be reported to the County Football Association as misconduct.**
So let us say that a player uses offensive and insulting language towards a match official in the changing room after the game. The player and the club is informed that he is being reported for a misconduct offence and a card is not shown. A full report on the misconduct is given to the League who will deal with it under discipline. Leagues have authority to deal with all manner of misconduct under their rules which are not just pitch related for which action can and should be taken. Cards are used for communication purposes on the field of play and surrounds. Off the field of play there is no card communication needed and the player is informed that he is being reported.
I would go as far as to say that if say a player who the referee recognises uses offensive and insulting conduct say in the car park as participants leave, the player can be reported for his actions to the League. Outside of the ground and not connected to the game in my opinion it is a civil matter.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Terry.
A referee has authority to show a card AFTER the match is over while players are still on the field or within the stadium as well as in the intermission and before the start of the match when coming in or out of the dressing rooms. It takes something quite ugly to get this much attention so when it gets submitted in the Match report it generally is a big deal. That said if any incident was to occur outside in the parking lot or away from the stadium it becomes a matter for the POLICE not just of concern by the league!

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