Can a match be restarted and completed even after the Center Ref has signaled it abandoned?
I was the center for a U16 Boys Classic 1 contest in which I expelled the loan team official during the 2nd half of a tied match (this decision was not done lightly and probably would have been done earlier if not for the circumstances)
When I expelled the coach, he confirmed there were no other team official present. I felt I had no option but to abandon the match and indicated that I was doing so by whistle and word. Within a very short time (not much more than a minute or so), while the teams were still on the field pleading with me to let the game continue somehow, the players indicated that a parent was coming to take responsibility of their team.
Because I wanted the boys to be able to complete their game I conferred with my ARs, and after speaking with the captains of both teams we restarted the match from the point the game had been abandoned (ball was in touch).
Since our state requires only that a team official be present to begin a match and allows for a responsible parent to take the place of the official during a match, my question is whether I had the authority to restart the match after I had signalled the match abandoned?
Thanks and I so much appreciate the service that your sight provides.
I only wish there were more questions/answers to read.
USSF answer (September 29, 2009):
1. Our job as referees is to allow the game to reach its natural completion whenever possible. The referee is permitted to change his (or her) mind on a decision of this nature only if the teams remain on or in the near vicinity of the field and the rules of the competition permit it. We might suggest that if such a situation should occur again — heaven forfend! — that you or whatever other person is refereeing first consult with the team(s) to determine if someone is available to take the place of the coach before abandoning the game.
2. You can find more questions and answers in the various archives on this site. They go back to at least 2000 — although some have clearly been rendered slightly less useful by changes in the Laws or in interpretations from the IFAB, FIFA, or the U. S. Soccer Federation.