You blow your whistle for the start of the game (kickoff) and before the attacking team takes the kick, a defender encroaches into the center circle. You blow your whistle again and instruct the attacking team to re-take the kickoff. However, before you do so, the defender uses obscene language and you send him off. Should the defending team play short or not. My reasoning would be that the game officially starts when the ball legally moves forward and the defending team would be allowed to substitute for the player that was sent off.

USSF answer (June 10, 2008):
You are absolutely correct. Because the ball was not put into play properly before the misconduct occurred, the game has not started. As to what happens next, Law 3 tells us: “A player who has been sent off before the kick-off may be replaced only by one of the named substitutes.”

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