Scenario: A spectator with a camera, during the course of the game, stood directly behind one of the goal’s net. He only took a few pictures and watched the rest of the first half of the game from that vantage point. It was not known which team he was associated with and his mouth moved although his voice was not heard by the AR.

Ruling? There was no photographer’s line marked.

Answer (October 30, 2007):
Lots of people talk to themselves, even aloud, without directing their words toward anyone else. There would appear to have been no real problem here. Under the Laws of the Game (the rules the world plays by) there is no prohibition on spectators contributing their “wisdom” to the players. However, there may be such a rule in one or more of the competitions (leagues or cups or tournaments, etc.) in which the team participates. Check the rules of the competition.

In addition, unless the rules of the competition specify otherwise, the referee has no authority to take action against parents or other spectators unless they enter the field of play.

However, the referee does possess a powerful tool with which to control spectators. The referee may stop, suspend or terminate the match because of outside interference of any kind, up to and including “grave disorder,” which would not seem to apply here. If no other recourse remains, the referee may inform the team that the match is suspended and may be terminated unless “that person over there” is removed from the area of field. Again, not the case in this situation.

Unless the spectator causes some sort of problem or the rules of the competition forbid spectators behind the goals, there is no reason for any action here.

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