Scenario: (real adult game)
Blue team is attacking on the White’s team side of the field. With the ball in play, Blue defender outside his own penalty area, commits a misconduct (violent conduct – head butt) against on opponent in plain view of AR2..
AR2 raises his flag to gain the attention of the referee (sorry no electronic flags) that has his back turned to him. AR1 mirrors AR2 (the fans are also screaming). The referee turns and makes eye contact with AR2 but does not stop play. Play continues for several more seconds. Now the referee stops play for a foul committed against a Blue player near the touch line on the AR1 side of the field.
During the stoppage, the referee comes over to the AR2 side of the field, he is informed of the misconduct and issues a send off to Blue defender.
Question: Proper Restart
Is the game restarted with a free kick in favor of the Blue team since play was allowed to continue and the reason for the stoppage was the foul or bring the ball back to the spot of the misconduct and restart with a free kick in favor of the White team?
I read both the ATR and the Q&A but I could not find an answer that would clear my doubt.
Answer (November 1, 2007):
Even though the referee stopped play for the foul against the Blue player on AR1’s side of the field, rather than for the serious misconduct flagged by AR2 and mirrored by AR1, the correct restart, after the “conference” during which the referee accepts A2’s flag, is for the foul committed near AR1. The restart will follow the sending off of the Blue defender for violent conduct.
When the referee accepts the trail AR’s signal (and there is CLEARLY no basis for considering the offense either trifling or subject of advantage), then we would count the stoppage as being for the offense signaled by the trail AR. Just because the referee stopped play thinking at the moment that it was for the second offense occurring near AR1, there is no reason why this opinion cannot be changed after receiving more detailed information from AR2. It is often the case that the referee sees the retaliation and misses what causes it. If an AR is able to supply relevant information about the prior offense, the referee can now sort out what happened first and decide on the restart accordingly.
Finally, shame on the referee for not following through immediately on the foul and misconduct committed by the Blue player behind the referee’s back. There is absolutely no reason for a referee to look at an AR, see the flag, and continue the game without stopping — unless there has been some reason earlier in the game for the referee to be wary of the AR’s judgment.