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Question Number: 32134

Law 5 - The Referee 1/1/2018

RE: Competitive Adult

Peter Babbage of Hjorring, Denmark asks...

It's regarding sanctions and cards. For instance, if a player commits a red card offence leaving the field at half time, as the Red card is only a sign to others and the player could be out of public view it would seem a bit silly to show it say in the tunnel. So should you just tell the player he is sent off and not to appear for the 2nd half? Possibly not say anything and show a red card when he attempts to enter the field for the 2nd half? Slightly different but do you also show a yellow card to a player as he lines up for the 2nd half after a cautionable offence during the break?
Would I be right in saying that as soon as the final whistle blows the game is over so any offence committed after that, even if all the players are still on the field, results in you simply reporting the matter?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
The offence is dealt with as it happens. The Laws do not directly addresses the card issue. What is does say is that the referee has the power to show yellow or red cards and, where competition rules permit, temporarily dismiss a player, from entering the field of play at the start of the match until after the match has ended, including during the half-time interval, extra time and kicks from the penalty mark. So in the case of a sending off at half time the player does not return and he is told that he is dismissed during half time. No card is required if he is off the FOP and the team will quickly learn that the player has been sent off for what ever reason which can be violent conduct, offensive language, spitting etc. If a card helps then so be it.
In the case of a caution / yellow card the card is not required off the field of play either and the player is informed verbally of the caution sanction when it happens not when he returns to the field of play. Again if the card helps then again so be it.
As regards after the half time and final whistle cards are still shown on the field of play which includes all the way to the tunnel and pitch surrounds. While off the FOP cards are not required a referee might show a card to make it absolutely clear what the sanction is. Players understand cards better than the words used and there is a legacy issue in that going back to times when cards were not used.
Case in point was the caution issued by Referee Mike Dean to Petr Cech of Arsenal at the end of the West Brom v Arsenal game for dissent. While shaking hands Cech dissented on an earlier penalty decision in the game and Referee Dean showed him a yellow card while on the field of play. It clearly showed that sanction was being taken after the game for misconduct with cards shown on the field of play and off the field of play the player is simply informed with no card shown. What should be certain though is that there is no doubt about any sanction taken after the game away from the field of play. The player and his management should be informed he is being reported for his misconduct. Cards are only part of the caution process and a communication tool on the field of play. If it helps off the FOP then so be it.

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