An attacker has been complaining to the AR about his offside decisions. The attacker is subbed and the sub goes by the rule book waiting until the player leaves the field and the CR beckons the sub onto the field. The AR flags to get the attention of the CR, who finds out that, before the player left the field of play, he was verbally abusive and the AR suggests it is enough for the player to be sent off. The CR does not notice the flag of the AR until AFTER the sub has entered the field after having been beckoned by the referee.
The question posed was, essentially, is the departing player a player being sent off (because the misconduct occurred when he was still a player as the sub had not yet been allowed on the field) or is he a substituted player because the referee didn’t sanction him until after a valid substitution has taken place? If the former, does his team play short? If the former and there are limited substitutions, was the substitute who was beckoned onto the field ever a player and is the team charged for a substitution?
USSF answer (May 23, 2008):
If the referee accepts the AR’s information — and why would he not? — then the player who has now left the field is sent off and his team must play short. The substitute, i. e., the new player who entered the field legally, must be removed from the game at this time, but may be substituted in again for another player at a later opportunity, if one exists.