Last few minutes of the Brazil/Norway women’s game on 15 Aug… A Brazil player is asked to leave the field for a likely injury/blood situation. The referee then indicates that a drop-ball will be the restart (I believe we’re all good to this point.) A Norway player steps-up and plays the ball long to 2 attacking teammates. The referee then calls BACK the ball and does a drop-ball AGAIN…

How could this have been a valid 2nd restart with a drop-ball?

Obviously, the referee indicated drop-ball the first time, the ball touched the groud and the ball was played. There may have been some confusion on what the referee had really wanted to happen, but the ball did seem to be legally and correctly put back into play…

How could the referee justify the 2nd drop-ball restart?

USSF answer (August 18, 2008):
On the surface your response to the situation would appear to be correct. Once the referee has dropped the ball and it is in play — as soon as it hits the ground — that would seem to end the matter. However, we cannot second-guess a referee at an international tournament. There may have been other circumstances that neither you nor we are aware of.

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