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Question Number: 4421

The Fourth Official 10/12/2002

RE: Competitive - Cup Match Under 16

Marc Watson of Luton, Bedfordshire, England, UK asks...

I was a reserve official in this match...About half way through the first half, a yellow midfield player stopped right in front of the centre referee, whom was a friend of mine called Tracy Thompson. He knew she was close by and stopped just before she reached his position..She was thrown into the air, and to make matters worse, when she landed her studs got caught in the ground. She fell onto the floor and hurt her ankle...As she was getting treatment, one of the league officials came to me and said "That looks nasty! You have our permission to replace her if she can't carry on."..I nodded and took off my jacket, just as Tracy was getting up again. Unfortuneatly she couldn't run on her injured leg and was signalled off..She walked towards me, and as she got closer I noticed she was crying. She got over to me, and I embraced her to show my support and comfort her. She patted me on the back as I ran on...As I ran on, I overheard the player who had injured Tracy remark "Stupid twat, she shouldn't have f**king ran round me. What's she playing at? At what's that idiot doing cuddling her like that? It's her f**king problem she got hurt!"..I was enraged by these comments and pulled the Red Card...He turned round to me and said "What have I done?".I replied "You know what you've done, get out of here.".He said to me "You can't send me off! I haven't been booked yet.".I looked him in the eye and said quietly "Check Law 12! I have the power to issue a straight Red Card on you. I'm not listening to any compliants of yours. And I'm not telling you again. Get out of here!"..The team has filed a compliant now...They are calming that:..1. Officials can't change places. To my knowledge there is no law about this. I haven't found one in my FIFA 2002/2003 Law book...2. I couldn't issue a Red Card to thier player. I saw what he did as dangerous play, which carrys a Red Card penalty according to Law 12...3. I reacted badly towards Tracy? What is wrong with giving your friend a hug if he/she is in distress?..Has the team got a case?..Did I react in a proper professional manner?..Did I do the correct thing?..Thanks for your time.

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer 10/12/2002

Marc I think you did well to restrain your self to the point you did! His behavior is totally unacceptable, as is his unsavory language. His ban from the game should reflect the seriousness nature of his act. Did your match report detail all of his actions? You are within your right to send him off straight away. As reserve official you must take the place of any of your colleagues that is unable to carry on. You were correct...As to your comments to him, show the red card, off you go for your offensive language and then wait for him to blow up. When he goes a loud "This match will not restart until you are in the locker room, you have been sent off!" By this time his captain may have figured out you are beyond the merely unhappy and lend assistance, if not demand it. Move to a safer area, where there are opponents of the lad. Wait, watch him go on his way, take notes for your report, converse with anyone present, look to your assistants, go to the touchline and check on your injured colleague, in other words calm down. Once he has gone and you have calmed down restart and establish a no nonsense authoritarian game until you have their undivided attention. Once that is accomplished ease your hold on them but be prepared for the unexpected. Easy for me to write, hard to do on the pitch. This is not your ordinary match, extraordinary skill is needed to sort out a "lost" match. I trust you did well. ..Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Dawson 10/12/2002

Hi Marc,.I fully support my colleagues in their disgust of such rude and obnoxious behaviour. I agree with Ref Marco and wish to stress it is CRUTIAL for referees when writing reports they must include ALL relevant details and use the correct send off reasons. If unsure contact mentors or the league for advice. Solid paper work makes for concrete decisions..Gutless bullys and moronic people are a blight on the world not just on the soccer pitch. Cheers

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