Here’s the situation. The referee blows the final whistle after time has fully expired with no question to whether 90 minutes has gone by. After blowing the whistle, the referee sees the trailing AR waving his flag and a fight happening between two opposing players in the penalty area. After the fight is settled, the AR tells the referee that the defender struck the attacker inside of the defender’s penalty area first before the final whistle. Now, of course all misconduct would be dealt with as necessary. That is not what I’m interested in. What I am interested in is the restart (if there is one). Assuming the referee accepts the AR’s version of events, I want to know if a penalty kick for the attacking team would be appropriate. I know that the Law says a referee can change a decision provided the game has not been restarted, but it also says when the referee has terminated the match. Moreover, I thought that the Law was changed in direct response to a similar incident where a FIFA referee blew the final whistle but then accepted the missed AR’s signal. I don’t think that the penalty kick should be given, but could you clarify?

Answer (July 10, 2007):
The misconduct issue is clear. The referee must give whatever cards are appropriate prior to any restart. In this case, a send-off/red card for violent conduct.

As to the correct restart, suppose the exact same sequence of events had occurred but, instead of the referee blowing the whistle for full time, the ball had left the field for a throw-in or goal kick. Wouldn’t it be pretty clear that we would negate the normal restart and give the PK because, once we accept the AR’s information, we would count play as having stopped at that time? This matter is actually covered in the IFAB/FIFA Q&A 2006. The same argument applies here as well. If the assistant referee says the offense occurred before time ran out (based on the referee’s signal) and the referee decides to accept the AR’s information, then time has NOT run out–at least not yet. Given the short period of time involved, the correct restart is a penalty kick taken in extended time. And the referee had better take steps to protect the AR.…


Gentlemen, has there ever been any instructions, memo, etc., on the procedure that the referees must follow in respect to what their duties are on monitoring the handshake process that the youth players and coaches do after the game is completed?USSF answer (March 30, 2007):
Here is what the Federation has to say on the matter, excerpted from the USSF publication “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game”:

The referee’s authority begins upon arrival at the area of the field of play and continues until he or she has left the area of the field after the game has been completed. The referee’s authority extends to time when the ball is not in play, to temporary suspensions, to the half-time break, and to additional periods of play or kicks from the penalty mark required by the rules of the competition.

The custom of exchanging handshakes after the game is not universal practice. It is an invention of American youth soccer–and not even followed at all levels of American youth soccer. There is no accepted format.

Referees are instructed to leave the field quickly and quietly when the game has been completed. This is to avoid problems with coaches, parents, and players. If the handshake ceremony is a rule of the competition, then referees would likely have to remain behind to monitor it–but only if the rules of the competition explicitly require it.…


When reffing an under 6 and under 8 match, who has the kickoff the 2nd and 4th quarter?USSF answer (March 22, 2007):
USYS rules are silent on the matter of a specific restart, noting only that (small-sided) teams at these ages play quarters of equal time, 8 minutes for U6 and 12 minutes for U8. Many leagues do not treat the quarter as equivalent to a half i.e., there is no specific restart because the instructions are simply to stop play (or use a convenient existing stoppage) near the quarter time mark. If the referee stopped play, the restart would be a dropped ball, otherwise it would be based on whatever else stopped play.

If you wish a definitive answer, you might check with the competition in which you play or officiate.…