Actually two questions, with no information to suggest that the two situations actually involve the same people.
1. A coach asks:
If a coach is suspended from a game by the referee and the league rules that he automatically becomes ineligible for the following two games. Should he be allowed to coach his other team within that same league during that suspension if he is one of those of us who coach two teams at a time?
2. A club officer asks:
Last week in a recreational league, two coaches on opposing teams were ejected by the referee for profanity and bad sportsmanship. Both coaches tendered their resignation as it was suggested that with only two games left in the season and a two game suspension for the infraction it didn’t make sense not to. One coach rescinded his resignation the night before the next game and went on to coach a team in the same league that he was not the head coach of prior to this incident. Can an red carded coach continue to coach other teams in the same league with the same refs working the games?
USSF answer (October 22, 2008):
Your questions revolve about the same issue — namely, what is the “reach” of the automatic one game mandatory suspension (and, perhaps as a supplement, of any lengthier suspension)? Does it apply only to the next game involving the same team? Does it apply to the next game under the same authority, whether or not it is the same team? Does it apply to the next game regardless of team or authority?
First off, the referee does not suspend coaches or other participants. The referee has the power to send off players, substitutes, and substituted players and to expel team officials who do not behave responsibly. Only the competition authority (club, league, state association, etc.) has the power to suspend anyone beyond the one game suspension prescribed in the Laws of the Game.
It is normal that a player (or substitute or substituted player) is suspended from the next game under the aegis of the competition authority, but that may be extended by the authority in accordance with its regulations. The same applies to a coach or other team official. It is also normal that these persons do not participate in other events sponsored by the same authority until their suspension in the first instance has run its course.
There will be no guidance from FIFA (the world governing body) since, in their context, the question wouldn’t even arise. A player is on one team and only one team, and a coach is with one team and only one team. Whether we are speaking of a player or a team official, the reach of the minimum one game suspension is limited to the next game under the same authority which authorized the game in which the red card was given. Any lengthier suspension would apply to whatever the governing body desired as long as it was within their scope.
What your questions concern is preventing a dismissed coach from being at his next scheduled match controlled by the same competition authority, even if it involves a different team. In practical local terms, that means that a coach who has a boys team and a girls team who is dismissed from one of his girls’ games would have to be absent from his next girls’ game but not his next boys’ game. However, the governing authority over both of these organizations could, in theory, decide otherwise. In the end, the resolution of this matter is up to the competition authority.