During an U-15 boys game that became a phsyical “pushing” game between both teams and the referee let the physical game continue. The parents from both teams began to “voice” their opinions regarding the lack of calls by the referee. The center referee was visibly showing signs of being very emotional (crying), and stopped the game with about 10 minutes remaining. She blew the whistle and said “I’m stopping the game, its a tie”. She then left the field with the 2 assist. referee. The next day I received a call from my league that I was suspended for 2 games and that the referee from the game reported she issued me a red card after the game. She never spoke to me after she stopped the game and she just walked off the field. Can a referee do this? I spoke with the coach of the other team and he was not aware or told of a red card being issued to me or anyone.

USSF answer (September 8, 2009:
Unless the rules of competition for your league (or other competition) specifically allow it, the referee is not permitted to show a card of any color to a coach or other team official. Under the Laws of the Game (the rules we play by), coaches or other team officials cannot be shown cards or sent off for any reason, but may be expelled from the field and its environs for irresponsible behavior.

Given the circumstances you describe in this case, we recommend that you gather all the information you can from impartial witnesses and submit a report of your own to the league and the state youth soccer association. You should also understand that the officiating crew may, as a result, do likewise. Its better not to start this process unless you are convinced that you did no wrong in all this “voicing of their opinions,” and that rules of your competition do not hold you responsible for what the parents of your team may have said.

Further, while the referee has the right to terminate play for general disorder (based on safety considerations), the referee cannot determine the outcome of the match.  All the referee can do is report that a match was not played to its conclusion and to describe the circumstances (including any scores recorded prior to the termination).  Anything after that is up to the competition authority based on its local rules.

Leave a Reply