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Question Number: 32023

League Specific 11/15/2017

RE: Professional

Master Handley Barça Are The Best of Perth, Western Australia Australia asks...

You know how if a team forfeits a match its recorded as a 3-0 win? What happens if, theoretically, a team wins the first leg 5-0, and then get five red cards in the second leg, and the score in the second leg is currently 0-0. Will the match be recorded as a 3-0 win, so that the team that forfeits still go through. Heres an example: Lets just say that PSG beat Real Madrid in the first leg 4-0? Lets just say that for some reason or other PSG got five red cards before anyone scored. Would it be recorded as a 5-4 aggregate win to Real Madrid, or a 4-3 aggregate win to PSG. I think that it would be a 5-4 aggregate win to Real Madrid, as when PSG forfeited, the match ended, and there was the possibility that Real Madrid could have came back. Just in case you have misunderstood, that was an example of something that could have happened, I am not saying it actually did happen. I will sum what Im saying up in one sentence: If a team wins the first leg of a competition and is ahead in aggregate and the forfeit a match, when they still ahead on aggregate, and they are winning by more than 3 goals, is it recorded as win for the team that forfeits because usually a forfeit is 3-0, or an aggregate win to other team.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

I cannot speak to the black hole uncertainties such circumstances could create but truthfully I doubt a 2nd match forfeit by a team up 5 goals in the first leg would be sufficient to permit that team to move though. I suspect they PLAY that match or the league would ban & fine them from further participation and appoint the other team as winners. This is NOT a referee question this is an association bylaw controversy!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Leagues take an extremely dim view of abusing the competition rules to a teams benefit. So while a competition rule might say (not all do) that it is recorded as a 3-0 win the fact that the team failed to play would also result in the team being eliminated from the competition.
This is what UEFA has to say and I quote from its regulations
**If a club refuses to play or is responsible for a match not taking place or not being played in full, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body declares the match forfeited and disqualifies the club concerned in combination with.... fines of up to one million Euro**
You might recall a few seasons ago where two Real Madrid players deliberately got second cautions in a game to get sent off so that they would miss the next game and have no outstanding cautions. The ruse was the players would serve one-match suspensions in a meaningless final group match against Auxerre and would then could start the knockout rounds in with a clean disciplinary slate. UEFA took a very dim view of this abuse of the competition rule, fined the club, manager and players heavily plus an additional one game ban for the players. Clearly it backfired significantly.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

While this is not actually a Laws of the Game issue, I feel I should point out that your question proceeds from a false premise. It is not true that whenever a team forfeits a game, it is recorded as a 3-0 loss for that team. Some leagues and competitions use that procedure, however others (especially at a higher level) do not. To take your example, in a match in a UEFA competition there is no such provision - the match is indeed forfeited but there is no specified scoreline. For a UEFA-controlled game, each situation would be considered on its merits and an appropriate sanction applied. As my colleagues have indicated, whatever punishment is imposed, a team in such circumstances would almost certainly not be allowed to proceed.

I would also mention that when I have come across such a rule, it has only been for league competitions, not for games played in a knock-out competition (though I couldn't say that is universally true, however).

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