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Question Number: 32008

Law 5 - The Referee 11/7/2017

RE: Adult

Matthew of Ogbomoso, Oyo Nigeria asks...

If a red player is on the ground after coliding with his team mate and blue is about to score please what should the ref blow here. is it fair play or should allow the blue player to score

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Matthew,
The Laws of the Game say that the referee should stop play only if a player suffers a serious injury. So if the player has simply fallen to the ground and is not in immediate, serious danger then it is play on.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Matthew,
No offence has been committed here, so the only reason play should be stopped is if it's clear that there's a serious injury or head injury. Even then, if the opposing team is about to shoot most referee will at least allow the shot.

Referees are not to stop play just because a player or two are on the ground and out of play as a result. That's just an unfortunate situation.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Matthew
As a goal scoring opportunity is immediate then a second or so is not going to make any difference in stopping the game. If a goal is scored it will stop the game anyway so the only decision then is to bring on the physio.
I recall a few seasons I was an AR in a game. A ball was played into the penalty area and a defender clashed with a team mate in heading the ball. The ball dropped to an attacker who controlled the ball and shot scoring a goal. The play was over in second.
Now the defender had a nasty cut above his eye and had to be replaced. The game was stopped within seconds of the incident so it was not as if play continued for a period with an injured player on the ground.
In situation where it is likely that play may continue then I suggest that the game should be stopped for a serious injury immediately.
In the recent Wales v Ireland game a defender headed a ball out to the wing and went down with what looked like a head injury. An Irish player retrieved the ball and he was about to cross the ball back into the goalmouth when the referee stopped the play. Some Ireland players felt that stopping the play took away a great attacking position which it probably did. The referee was of the view that player safety was more important so he stopped it and he brought on the physio promptly.
Sometimes referee do not see the injury or think that it is minor and play may continue which upsets the player and his team. I tend to stop quickly now on all injuries although each situation has to be evaluated.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Matthew,
while we will evaluate a moment if you were 100% certain there WAS serious injury play stops . I hit the whistle on the sound of a ankle pop or bone broken or the thud of heads clashing because what I see and hear convinced me the player(s) were in trouble. It could be hard to explain to a team denied a sure goal and if the opposition FELT obliged to allow an opportunity that is on them. Fair Play being subjective I try to think of the safety aspect first rather than consider I am taking away a score/. I recall when my own kids played a hard shot hit the 9 year old opposition keeper square in the face rebounded back for an easy tap in . MY son picked the ball up and went to the aid of the keeper cause he could see the blood flowing down an the fact the keeper was nearly unconscious. Do you think I was angry for him not scoring? As for waiting to see if they score if the injury is truly serious do you think for the goal scorer it will be a proud moment? You will not be criticized for allowing the goal and the two players get up and walk away unscathed but possibly no clapping for you if one of them does not get up .

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