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Question Number: 32174

Law 7 - The Duration of the Match 1/18/2018

RE: Adult

Daniel of Bacau, Romania asks...

May the referee change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if he has signalled the end of the second half and did not leave the field of play (the match is not terminated, yet)?

Thank you very much.
Best regards,

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Daniel
Simple answer is yes. The only times he cannot change a decision is where play has restarted with his permission or the match officials have left the field of play terminating the game.
Match officials should always take care in ending the first and second halves to ensure that there are no outstanding flags from assistants or advice to be given by them or the 4th official. For that reason it is always a good reason to go with a restart such as a goal kick, kick off etc as that allows an AR to bring a matter to the referees attention. Never a good position to be in where the referee signals the end of a half or the game to find an AR with a flag up signalling a penalty kick, offside on a goal etc. While it can be opined that the game is not terminated it always raises the question which by the way has been asked many times on the site by others such as question 30487

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Daniel,
The law says that the referee may change a decision in this situation, so long as he has not ''signalled the end of the first or second half (including extra time) and left the field of play or terminated the match.'' So based on the wording of the law, the referee may change a decision in the way you describe since he has not left the field nor terminated the match.

As Ref McHugh points out though, it would be best to avoid getting into the situation where this might be necessary, in the ways that he mentions.

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