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Question Number: 32156

League Specific 1/10/2018

RE: Adult

Mark Welsby of Liverpool , Merseyside United Kingdom asks...

Can a player be given a retrospective red card for an incident in a game which the referee saw and dealt with and took no action

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mark
Yes that is entirely possible particularly when new information comes to hand such as video replay showing something not previously seen or heard by the referee.
Case in point will be the Firmino / Holgate incident which was *dealt with* at the time by Referee Bobby Madley without sanction being taken. Something was said which were not fully understood at the time as it was in Portuguese. As I said in respect of a question on this incident perhaps the referee did not *deal with it* through the issue of cards as that then could make it more of a challenge to take retrospective action which the FA can now do in that particular case.
The incident was reported by the referee and it is under investigation so Yes a retrospective sanction can be issued by the FA.
This is based on the statement that *The FA is able to consider retrospective action in the two following situations, in addition to those already within the existing charging policy:
# firstly, for acts of violent conduct that occur secondarily to a challenge for the ball;
# and secondly, in off-the-ball incidents where one or more match official did see the players coming together, but the match officials' view was such that none of them had the opportunity to make a decision on an act of misconduct that took place within that coming together.**
If a decision was made such as a yellow card then unless new evidence or a separate matter is raised it cannot be upgraded to a red card.
Also that sanction has been extended to cover simulation or diving. So while the referee may not have taken action after seeing an incident that does not prevent the FA for issuing a two game ban for diving retrospectively.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mark,
there is precedence now with video showing otherwise unknown or unseen facts of play the association can choose to sanction such behaviour. In this latest Holgate Firmino incident which was witnessed by the referee who saw SOMETHINGS and overheard SOMETHINGS but chose no on field sanctions has proven to be very puzzling to many! Many expect the association will hand down something, be it a sanction to one or both players or a private slap on the wrist of the officials for not handling it better. They do not want to override referee decisions but they do want a better understanding of why incidents that create such a furore are not handled better and to punish those who think they slyly got away with something hidden from the officials line of sight or hearing !

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mark,
Yes, the FA can take retrospective action for an incident that was seen by the match officials, although if you are referring to the Holgate-Firmino incident you could say that it was not really 'dealt with,' at least not in terms of cards being issued.

Ref McHugh has given the official FA position and I should point out that this policy has been in place for some time now, since the start of the 2013-14 season. The rules were clarified and tightened up in the wake of a highly controversial incident in March 2013 involving a horrific challenge by Wigan's Callum McManaman on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara after the referee admitted seeing it but said he did not get a good view of the full severity of the challenge.

Following this incident, the FA set up an internal review and as a result, introduced more flexible retrospective rules to avoid a repeat.

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