Recently a referee made this call and I don’t beleive it to be correct. After a goal is scored the teams are getting ready to kick off. The referee notices a player with his shoe untied and tells him to tie it. The player does so and the referee waits until the player is bending down then blows the whistle to start play. I told my player to get up, the play was coming right at him as he was tying his shoe, and the referee told him to stay down and tie his shoe or he will get a yellow card for dangerous play. I told the player to get up, better a yellow than a kick in the head, the referee then stopped play to yell at me and said that the player being down was, “your problem coach not mine” . Should the player have been allowed to tie his shoe then play resume, since play was already stopped? Was the referee creating a dangerous situation, or is this a new rule?

Answer (June 6,, 2007):
We sometimes poke a little harmless fun at coaches for their “inventive” minds and ideas regarding the Laws of the Game. In this case, we have to do more than poke fun at this referee, who was certainly inventive, but definitely in the wrong on at least three counts: (1) The player should either have been sent from the field to tie his shoe or, more sensibly, the referee should have simply waited until the shoes were tied and then signaled for the kick-off. (2) If the referee were unintelligent enough to caution the player for this “offense,” it would have to be for unsporting behavior; there is no such thing as a caution for “dangerous play.” (3) The problem was created by the referee himself, not the player nor you, the coach. We apologize to you and your player(s) for the lack of wit, wisdom, and common sense of this referee.

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