We just returned from a tournament and my question is whether or not a ref has the right after a game to pull a player aside and talk to them. The other team had a player that made an allegation against our team for flipping them off at the end of the game. The coach said he did not know which player or if it had happenned for sure. After the players had left the field to leave. The ref placed their arm around the player and accused them off this with a finger pointed in their face. In the end the player was crying, not proud of the win and been accused of something. I would think a better option would have been to talk to the team as a whole as nobody had seen the player do this. Or if the other player was telling the truth. It almost seemed like an abuse of power.
USSF answer (November 3, 2008):
The referee certainly has the right to speak with any player after the game. The referee has the authority to deal with misconduct as long as the teams and the referee are still in the immediate vicinity of the field. — this could certainly include talking with a player regarding an actual, potential, or alleged act of misconduct. However, the referee does not have the right to grill the player or subject that player to the third degree. After all, whatever misconduct may have occurred happened far enough back in time that the referee’s valid interest in the matter had long passed. Either he dealt with it or not. Normally, the extension of authority is assumed to cover acts of misconduct that occur during the post game period while the teams are in the process of exiting the field (or possibly that occurred immediately prior to the end of the match). Anything earlier is simply rehashing old news, usually to no good end.
Report the referee to the tournament, local and state authorities.