Player leaves without permission and commits obvious violent conduct that referee is going to punish. Does he first caution for leaving and then send-off for VC and show yellow/red? Or is it ok to go to straight red? I know if it’s not VC it’s yellow/yellow/red. My gut says who cares if he left during normal course of play, it’s VC so just go straight to that.
USSF answer (February 11, 2010):
The referee’s decision in this case rests on the needs of the game and how the referee must manage the game. While it may seem natural simply to reach for the red card and send off the player who has left the field without permission, that player has committed a cautionable offense prior to the violent conduct — and the cautionable offense governs the restart if the violent conduct occurs off the field of play: if the player leaves the field of play to commit the offense, play is restarted with an indirect free kick from the position in which the ball was located when play was stopped (see Law 13 — Position of Free Kick).