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Question Number: 32339

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/29/2018

RE: Competitive Adult

Luiz of Florida of Southwest, Florida USA asks...

Player A white on the bench started arguing with player B purple on the opponent bench. At certain point player A throws water at player B. Center referees sees player A action, stops the game and show player A a red card.
What should be the reason for the red card? VC, S, AL? Could not find any explanation on the rules of the game.
Also, what is the proper restart? A free kick was awarded to purple team, at the touch line, next to where player A white had thrown the water.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Luiz
I suspect the referee sent the substitute off for either violent conduct or for an offensive, insulting and abusive gesture. You do not mention how the action actually took place other than words being exchange and a throw of water. That could be a squirt of water from a water bottle or something more serious. It is difficult to imagine that throwing water only involved excessive force yet if an open water bottle was thrown as well then that is certainly VC. If the action included gestures and words then it certainly can be OFFINABUS. The referee is the sole judge of what constitutes offensive, insulting and abusive
My reaction would be at the lower end of the scale a caution for unsporting behaviour if it is chucking water only from a bottle in the direction of an opponent with nothing offensive being said. That does not for me get into the VC space nor OFFINABUS territory yet rather unsporting behaviour
As the offence took place between substitutes off the field of play the restart is a droppped ball from where the ball was when play was stopped. It had no impact on the field of play such as involving a player, match official or happening on the FOP which is how the restart gets upgraded to a free kick from either on the line or where the object struck a player on the FOP.
Also the advice is that play should be allowed to continue until the next stoppage once it does not interfere with play. That is a judgement call as to whether that is sensible and if early intervention will prevent it escalating into something more serious then do be it.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Luiz,
hmmm water ? Not a spitting incident? More like a squirt from a bottle or do we have the whole bottle flying through the air?
It is either a red card for spitting or for VC for the throwing. I likely go with USB and a caution if was simply a bottle squirt? If it is two subs off the field and away from active play? The restart would likely be a drop ball at the ball location on the FOP subject to law 13 special circumstances in the goal area I believe if it was an opposing player or official involved (not a pair of substitutes) then it becomes a DFK at the touchline ? Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Luiz,
Firstly, when you say 'player on the bench' I assume you mean a substitute. Anyway, to know the reason for the red card, we would have to see the referee's report but if I had to guess I would say either for offensive, insulting or abusive behaviour (OFFINABUS) or violent conduct. Unless, as my colleagues suggest, the offence involved throwing a bottle along with the water, VC looks a little extreme and probably a caution would have sufficed. If it was for OFFINABUS then the referee must presumably have seen or heard something that led to this conclusion. As I say, difficult to be sure without access to the referee's report into the incident.

As for the restart, it should not be a free kick - the explanation of the law describing various situations where a free kick on the boundary line is to be given says that this: ''does not apply for offences between substitutes''

The only other possible restart would therefore be a dropped ball.

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