I have a question about whether there is such a thing as referee interference.

My daughter scored her team’s third goal, just before halftime, in what turned out to be a very one sided game. The referee said that it didn’t count because he blocked the goalie’s view. And if that weren’t bad enough, he gave the other team a goal kick!

I know that a referee in American Football (NFL) as well as an umpire in baseball are considered part of the field. I would assume that the same would be true for soccer. I’ve never heard of a goal being disallowed because the referee was in the wrong place, and especially can’t understand why he would turn the ball over to the other team for a goal kick when my daughter was in control of the ball, and taking a shot on goal when she committed the supposed infraction.

My daughter feels confused and cheated of her goal. I am trying to explain the situation to her and am not sure what to say. I assume that since it was such an obviously one sided game, that he felt bad for the other team and tried to keep the game close. With the final score being 5-0 my daughter’s non-goal did not have an effect on the outcome of the game, but I feel she deserves an explanation of what occurred. Was this overturned goal an act of sympathy on the part of the referee towards an overmatched team, or is this an actual rule that she will encounter in her future games?

Thank you for your help

USSF answer (November 5, 2008):
It is likely that your daughter will encounter this “rule” only if this extremely ill-informed referee is assigned to one of her games again. We often rail here against “inventive” referees, but this person carries the concept of inventiveness a bit far.

Yes, the referee is considered to be part of the field. No, the referee should not have taken away the goal and should certainly NOT have awarded a goal kick for this totally imaginary offense. Your daughter was cheated. If you will tell us privately in what state. league, at which field and on what date and time this occurred (and the referee’s name, if possible), we will ensure that your complaint is raised with the appropriate referee authorities.

We think — who can “know” in a situation like this? — we have figured out why the referee didn’t “call” an offense against your daughter (she should be consoled that nothing here was HER fault). Instead, he disallowed a goal (for an inventive reason) but then took it to the next logical step — the ball left the field, not counted as a goal, last touched by an attacker — ergo, goal kick.

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