Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 32407

Law 5 - The Referee 4/28/2018

RE: Rec Adult

Darren House of Gloucester, NSW Australia asks...

In my most recent amateur game one of my teammates was booked for arguing with the referee. When we returned for the second half the referee told our manager that the player in question could not return because he would not last long ie would be sent off. I cant see that this is legal but would love to know

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Darren
As alleged that is totally incorrect in law and it should not happen.
What has happened here is that the referee has overstepped his authority and indeed acted in an unprofessional manner.
The whole point of a caution is to affect change in a players behaviour. The player and the team know that if a player commits another offence that is cautionable that the player is going to be dismissed.
Now managers need to pay particular attention to players that are on a caution. A player already on a caution for dissent and he persists with that clearly runs the high risk of getting sent off or a player that persists with persistent and risky challenges once cautioned does likewise. It is up to the team to decide whether to substitute the player or not and certainly not the referees decision
Now there is more likelihood that a warning by way of advice was made to the coach that if player X does not change his behaviour that he is likely to get a second caution. In some ways it is stating the obvious to a manager yet a long way from from not allowing a player to return for the second half. Maybe the coach wanted to *arraign* the referee for the substitution?
I know of certain referees at Underage that advise coaches that they need to substitute a player, on a caution, who has persisted with poor behaviour during the game. It is done in the spirit of allowing another player to play and not sending off the player. It can be taken in a positive manner or not by the manager. Some times the manager / coach takes exception to being advised which is taken as being told what to do.
At open age it is of no concern to referees about team management and the referee should not be offering advice. The referee can warn the player in a game context after say dissent or a foul that a repeat will result in a card. If a players chooses not to pay head or the team fails to control or act in a way to prevent a dismissal so be it. Pro teams can be seen regularly removing cautioned players for fear of a second caution and a dismissal. I have seen plenty of players on a caution being substituted after a poor challenge that the referee decided to give the benefit of doubt on knowing full well that the team dodged a sending off yet unlikely to be as generous on the next one.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Darren,
The referee has overstepped his authority in denying entry to a legal player. If the referee tells a coach, if that player speaks out of turn once more, he is gone It is trifle uncustomary but the coach can at least talk to the player and the player can be forewarned the referee is looking to send him off.

A referee can choose to think as he wishes but MUST act accordingly to the LOTG . In this case if he did indeed show a yellow card & cautioned this player in the first half for DISSENT. The player is now aware the referee was unhappy and this either reflects in a change in his behaviour so as not to engage in a 2ndary cautionable action as a send off would occur.

As a referee I have given a thumbs up & nod to youth coaches who show extreme good judgement & recognize their player on the FOP could do with a rest to calm down. I have said as a 'reminder' when I show a yellow card to a young player in a tense situation, PK or hard tackle. I can often see the red lights flashing. So if I pass by the coach, I might just speak my mind out loud, just casually accidentally, blurt out. (#12 is wound pretty tight, be a shame if he can't reign it back) In other wards coach, he is angry & running on pure testosterone, his next tackle might be his last? A substitution might calm him down?

It is in fact mandatory for high school players who receive a caution to sit for ten minutes in the league I referee. I recognize as neutral officials we cannot tell coaches how to coach or who to play but if we cooperate we CAN bring about the best of those that do!

As my colleague Ref McHugh espouses the older ages when they are a caution or running amuck, we reign then in ,we look them in the eye and warn them you are waking a thin line here. They need to accept the consequences of their actions. They generally do not play with unlimited subs. In a recreational setting I might look at it more in my youth concept as fun. We do not look for ways to make a player we might personally find distasteful in attitude & antics a scapegoat to have his team play short. If anything I think we try hard not to allow out emotions to affect our decisions but the LOTG and he spirit within those laws do not subscribe to indifference when the laws are flagrantly broken!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Darren,
If the player had only received a yellow card then he should have been allowed to start the second half. There is nothing in the law that entitles a referee to prevent a player from continuing to play if they have only been cautioned and not sent off. I wonder if perhaps there was some kind of miscommunication and the referee was intending to warn your manager that the player should not continue, as he ran the risk of getting sent off, rather than preventing him outright. If the referee did actually bar the player from returning, that would be incorrect.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32407
Read other Q & A regarding Law 5 - The Referee

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.