In a game I played yesterday, one of the substitutes was verbally advised by the referee that as soon as he came onto the pitch to play that he would give him a yellow card.

The incident came about as the subsitute said something to the linesman during the 20th minute of the game. The referee did not show a yellow card at the time, but advised the player that as soon as he did come into the game that he would give him a yellow card. The substitute came into the game in the 75th minute and as soon as he entered was shown a yellow card.

Can the referee do this, or does he have a time limit on when to show a yellow card?

USSF answer (August 11, 2008):
Another inventive referee! If it was going to be done at all, the referee should have cautioned the substitute at the moment of the misconduct — or at least prior to the next restart. Under these conditions, i. e., the referee was aware of the misconduct (dissent, we presume) and had not received any later signal from the assistant referee, the referee must caution at the next stoppage following the misconduct or he or she no longer has that privilege. The referee can, of course, still include details of the misconduct in the match report, but it cannot be considered to be a caution.

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