The referee calls half-time in a game between reds and blues.
A blue player had been badly fouled just after the whistle. He then reacts and punches the red player in the face in the tunnel on the way to the changing room.
The players come out for half time, but the blue’s manager decides that he knows the player will get sent off and tries to substitute him before the restart.
Would the red player be booked for the late and bad challenge on the blue player?
Would the blue player get sent off before the sub can be made?
Would the substitute get sent off after it has been made?
Would the manager be sent off for unsporting conduct?
USSF answer (June 16, 2008):
The referee’s power to show cards and mete out punishment begins during the period immediately prior to the start of play and extends through the period of time immediately following the end of play, i. e., the end of the game, while players and substitutes are physically on the field but i the process of exiting. Any misconduct by a player that occurs during the halftime interval may be punished as if it had occurred when the ball was in play. To prevent misunderstandings, the referee should inform officials of both teams before the first period of play begins of any cautions or send-offs occurring prior to the start of the match; the same is true of any cautions or send-offs occurring during the halftime interval.
Under no circumstances could the act in question be considered a foul, as the ball was out of play. The act you describe would be considered violent conduct, a sending-off offense. The blue player should be sent off prior to the beginning of the second half. No substitution would be allowed. There would be no need to do anything to the manager, whose action would be common sense, not irresponsible behavior.