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Question Number: 32321

Other 3/19/2018

RE: Adult

Zach Beo of Istanbul, Istanbul Turkey asks...

If a game is temporarily suspended due to an incident like a fan throwing something to a player etc, is there a maximum duration for the suspension time?
If so, what happens after the maximum is reached? Is the game abandoned and replayed or it depends on the Football Association local rules?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Zach,
There is no maximum time limit for a temporary suspension, that I am aware of. If the referee thinks that the situation requiring the suspension will be resolved after a while they can wait to see if this happens and resume the game once it is safe to do so.

If the situation does not look like it will become safe within a time frame that is acceptable, the referee has the power to abandon the game. It is totally up to the discretion of the referee how long to wait before resuming (if that is the course chosen) or when to abandon the match. It would be up to the competition organisers to decide whether to replay the game and if so, in what manner.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Zach
Each situation is considered on its own merits with advice taken from the home club security, the police, the match commissioner, engineers if it technical etc.
If the referee is advised by engineers that say the floodlights will not be fixed for a lengthy period he will abandon the game. He will take into account factor such as travel arrangements for teams. If the team has travelled a lengthy journey the referee will try to do his best to get the game completed yet factors such as player fatigue, warm up periods, attitude etc will have a bearing
If it is a security issue the referee will take advice from police, security and the match commissioner as to when it is safe to resume. Another factor can be the desire by the teams to continue or not to continue as the case may be. If there are no assurances or that the situation is likely to be repeated or not sorted for a lengthy period he will abandon the game.
The referee reports the matter to the relevant authorities who will make a decision based on its competition rules. The Champions League tries to get the the game replayed the next day if possible while other competitions will perhaps reschedule the game to another time.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Zach,
unfortunately we can not prevent inconsiderate people from doing dumb things. If the incident is contained with immediate security there to escort him out, no one else involved, we might wait a minute or two to ensure the threat is marginalized the player is ok to continue and who knows, a stadium announcement that further acts of violence will not be tolerated? A referee can try his best with the help of those in attendance to sort it out. But the reasoning to abandon and the circumstances that create the need are all considered on their own merits. .SAFETY is always the number one priority If there were random elements firing bottles everywhere chances are we are going home .Should a replay be awarded often the stadium itself could be empty as punishment for the home teams fan behaviour!
If it is a techy glitch or a weather delay a referee will weigh the factors affecting play. The time, darkness, fatigue, teams willingness to sort it out as travel is difficult etc.. I have waited as referee for up to 3 hours to recommence lighting delayed matches at a weekend tournament. I have stood on the touchline and waited until a expelled coach ordered to leave chose to take his time and I restarted only after he was gone from the playing area 10 minutes later . In a effort to finish a match we lined cars and trucks with headlights to finish because the odds of getting the teams back to replay or finish seemed improbable and both teams were eager to do what was required.

All ROC have their established protocol about what they do in terminated or abandon matches. I have seen variations of restarting from complete replays , to resuming KFTPM to a designated time when a referee had erred in LAW.
That though is not a the authority of the referee that is league policy and directions.

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