Law 5_The Referee
The Authority of the Referee
Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed.
Powers and Duties
• enforces the Laws of the Game
• controls the match in cooperation with the assistant referees and, where applicable, with the fourth official
• ensures that the players' equipment meets the requirements of Law 4
• acts as timekeeper and keeps a record of the match
• stops, suspends or abandons the match, at his discretion, for any infringements of the Laws
• stops, suspends or abandons the match because of outside interference of any kind
• stops the match if, in his opinion, a player is seriously injured and ensures that he is removed from the field of play. An injured player may only return to the field of play after the match has restarted.
• allows play to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in his opinion, only slightly injured
• ensures that any player bleeding from a wound leaves the field of play. The player may only return on receiving a signal from the referee, who must be satisfied that the bleeding has stopped
• allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time
• punishes the more serious offence when a player commits more than one offence at the same time
• takes disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable and sending-off offences. He is not obliged to take this action immediately but must do so when the ball next goes out of play
• takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of play and its immediate surrounds
• acts on the advice of the assistant referees regarding incidents that he has not seen
• ensures that no unauthorised persons enter the field of play
• indicates the restart of the match after it has been stopped
• provides the appropriate authorities with a match report, which includes information on any disciplinary action taken against players and/or team officials and any other incidents that occurred before, during or after the match
Decisions of the Referee
The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.
The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.
Decisions of the International F.A. Board
A referee (or where applicable, an assistant referee or fourth official) is not held liable for:
• any kind of injury suffered by a player, official or spectator
• any damage to property of any kind
• any other loss suffered by any individual, club, company, association or other body, which is due or which may be due to any decision that he may take under the terms of the Laws of the Game or in respect of the normal procedures required to hold, play or control a match.
Such decisions may include:
• a decision that the condition of the field of play or its surrounds or that the weather conditions are such as to allow or not to allow a match to take place
• a decision to abandon a match for whatever reason
• a decision as to the suitability of the field equipment and ball used during a match
• a decisionto stop or not to stop a match due to spectator interference or any problem in spectator areas
• a decision to stop or not to stop play to allow an injured player to be removed from the field of play for treatment
• a decision to require an injured player to be removed from the field of play for treatment
• a decision to allow or not to allow a player to wear certain apparel or equipment
• a decision (where he has the authority) to allow or not to allow any persons (including team or stadium officials, security officers, photographers or other media representatives) to be present in the vicinity of the field of play
• any other decision that he may take in accordance with the Laws of the Game or in conformity with his duties under the terms of FIFA, confederation, member association or league rules or regulations under which the match is played
In tournaments or competitions where a fourth official is appointed, his role and duties must be in accordance with the guidelines approved by the International F.A. Board, which are contained in this publication.
Law 6_The Assistant Referees
Two assistant referees may be appointed whose duties, subject to the decision of the referee, are to indicate:
• when the whole of the ball leaves the field of play
• which team is entitled to a corner kick, goal kick or throw-in
• when a player may be penalised for being in an offside position
• when a substitution is requested
• when misconduct or any other incident occurs out of the view of the referee
• when offences have been committed whenever the assistant referees have a better view than the referee (this includes, in certain circumstances, offences committed in the penalty area)
• whether, at penalty kicks, the goalkeeper moves off the goal line before the ball is kicked and if the ball crosses the line
The assistant referees also assist the referee to control the match in accordance with the Laws of the Game. In particular, they may enter the field of play to help control the 9.15m (10yds) distance.
In the event of undue interference or improper conduct, the referee will relieve an assistant referee of his duties and make a report to the appropriate authorities.