NOT SEEN? NOT AN INFRINGEMENT

Question:
A team has 12 players on the field and scores a goal, the CR doesn’t recognize number of players is 12. The CR sets the ball at center field to restart the game when the opposing coach tells the referee there was 12 players on the field for the team that scored.

By this time the opposing team has taken the extra player off the field.

What should be done?

USSF answer (April 30, 2009):
If the referee and the assistant referee have not seen the incident, it did not happen and nothing can be done. The match officials need to be more observant of things beyond the play around the ball.

If there were a reliable witness to this incident — and that could only be a member of the officiating crew — the answer depends on whether the “extra” player belongs to the team that scored. ¬†If it did, the goal is canceled and the restart would be a goal kick; otherwise proceed with the kick-off. ¬†Furthermore, in either case, the “extra” player would be cautioned for USB and required to leave the field.

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