I’d like to revisit one aspect of the distinction between abandoning and terminating a match. I understand the basic distinctions and the process for determining which course of action a referee should take as described in your answer at . However, I would like to ask specifically about the case of a youth match played in the US: if the last “responsible adult” in the team area has to be expelled for irresponsible behavior (thus leaving no adults in the team area), would the match be abandoned or terminated. I lean towards the latter answer since it seems to fall within the realm of serious breaches of the Law and should result in a game that cannot be replayed. However, I can also see that one may argue that the match should only be abandoned so as to allow for replay of the match once the competition authority has dealt appropriately with the inappropriate adults. Which is the most appropriate choice?

For completeness, if the last responsible adult must leave for some reason other than irresponsible behavior (e.g., illness, family or work emergency, etc), it seems to me that abandonment would be the appropriate decision for the referee in such a case. Do you agree?

USSF answer (January 16, 2012):
Our original answer of March 31, 2010, titled STOP, SUSPEND, ABANDON OR TERMINATE, simply suggested that the referee abandon the match in the scenario you put forth. Why? There is nothing in the Laws of the Game to cover this specific situation — and may not be in the rules of the competition either — but common sense suggests this to be the safest course to follow.

The International Board’s use of the word “termination” is, as in a number of other cases, a bit loose, suggesting only that the game is declared to be ended (as in the final paragraph of Law 5 on “Decisions of the Referee”). In most cases it is generally reserved for a situation where non-weather influences (invasion of the field, general melee, etc.) have made the game no longer playable.