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Question Number: 32308

Law 5 - The Referee 3/15/2018

RE: Pro Adult

AEK Fan Club of NY of New York, New York USA asks...

First of all thank you to all for answering my question.

This is simply a followup on the answer given by mr. Peter Grove.
The last scene on the pitch was with the referee and his hand raised, disallowing the goal.

Following that, we had the pitch invasion by the home team management, which lead to the game being suspended.

This can easily be seen on youtube, and there is no doubt, this was happened.
It is also what the referee has allegedly written in the game report.

In the locker rooms, three hours later (!!!), while compiling the game report, the referee allegedly stated he changed his mind on the pitch, after disallowing the goal, but didn't have time to call the goal, because of the invasion.

Is the referee allowed to change his mind in the locker room, and count a goal, that was not awarded on the pitch, after the game was suspended, and include this in the game report?

Because this is the whole story.
Yes indeed, the referee in the report did mention the score was 1-0, but he was never seen on the pitch allowing the goal.

He disallowed it ->interrupted game -> Wen to lockers -> never allowed it on pitch.

Yes the referee has been called for questioning tomorrow (Friday - 5 days later) with regards to the game.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The Laws were never intended to deal with such unusual situations. Clearly the referees account has to match what was seen on the videos.
As I mentioned in a previous answer that as the game was not restarted after the furore in a way the referee can in law can change his mind to whatever decision he arrived at. It is certainly not allowed under the Law to change his mind after a game has been abandoned having left the FOP and certainly not based on video evidence.
From what I have seen on video the referee allowed the goal and then signals an IDFK for offside after consulting with his AR. If he was awarding the goal he would have gone to the centre circle for a kick off and he certainly would not have incurred the wrath of the *scoring* team in the manner shown.
Anyway for what it is worth the outcome is somewhat irrelevant in that more serious issues took over the game with a pitch invasion, threats, personal safety concerns etc. forcing a game to be abandoned.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi AEK fan,
Even by your own account of events, the referee is supposed to have stated that he changed his mind while still on the pitch. His match report apparently also says the same.

So the question becomes, 'Is the referee allowed to change his mind while still on the pitch, before either play restarts or he terminates the match.' The answer to this question is that yes, he can.

It does not matter that he was not seen to allow the goal while still on the pitch, all that matters is when he actually made his mind up about the decision. If he made the decision when he says he did, that is allowable.

It is the same principle as when a player commits a sending-off offence but before the referee can signal this, a mass confrontation occurs which results in the game being abandoned. Even though the referee did not have the opportunity to indicate that he had decided to send the player off before abandoning the game and leaving the pitch, the decision that he took in his own mind at the time is still valid. Assuming the ref includes it in his match report (which he should) the player will still suffer the consequences for committing a red card offence, even though the referee did not indicate in any way, the decision that he had taken.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI we appreciate you thoughts and kind words in responding to your question. It is easy to have an opinion. We perceive our truths, based on what we see and think we know. The referee and AR have gained a following I am willing to bet they did not want or expect. There is no doubt now, given the responses from those who dictate the LOTG that the incident was offside albeit based on the newer interpretations and only just by a small margin.

I have zero idea which official brought up the offside initially.

As I stated the AR behaved in a manner indicating the goal was ok because he took off up the touchline to get ready for the kick off. I can not say why the CR decided to raise the arm to indicate the INDFK for offside and nullify the goal or what words were exchanged to make that decision nor can I say he placed the ball at center after changing his mind for a kick off as the match was abandoned amid chaos. Given play had NOT restarted the referee does have the authority to change his mind in light of new evidence by neutral source or a realization he had erred somehow. So despite the poor mechanics the fact the referee placed a check in the goal department of a match report SAYS to me he does not think the incident was offside. As an opinion and a fact of play he would be correct . Play had not resumed thus the restart CAN be altered! In the aftermath of the chaos the referee and AR will be put through a rigorous examination to explain their actions. There is a lot of video and recorded evidence lets wait to see how it plays out! There will be many paying a price, actions have consequences. Once the VAR is initialized these type of incidents will generally be decided by those watching a monitor rather than those on the field, sigh, the price of progress . The referee can not alter decisions after seeing video nor can he alter a decision after abandoning the match his decision must occur on the FOP before a restart. I hope evidence appears to support the referee, getting tossed under the bus is not fun at all.

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