Re the thread:
> ... league should have the right to waive the
> mandatory suspension, when a referee error
> precipitates a "ref dissent" incident. Sure,
> the player should maintain self-control, but
> the ref error has to be taken into account.
> Saying "live with it" to the suspended player is not right.
> I think the basic issue is covered in Law 5, where it is stated:
> “The decisions of the referee regarding
> facts connected with play are final.”
> Allowing a league to rescind a mandatory suspension is, in
> my view, equivalent to overturning the referee’s decision to
> card that player.
The first paragraph of Law 5 also applies. The referee's decision only
concerns the "facts connected with play" (i.e., a foul or act of
misconduct) in the game to which he is assigned.
First, the law's language means that no-one would have the right to deny
that the act (the fact) occurred, if the ref judged that it did. The
ref's showing a red card in response to his judgment about the act would
not be such a "fact", and would be subject to second-guessing by the
league. This is why we submit reports.
Second, the red card only says the player is out of THIS game. Maybe I
shouldn't be surprised that refs have strong views on this, but what
happens after the card is shown and the player leaves is none of our
affair. Any suspensions or other consequences are a matter of league
rules, although there have been reports that FIFA may soon get into the
If the send-off was for abuse, it was merited, regardless of what
precipitated the abuse. On the other hand, if a ref's error created the
whole situation, then the ref should be the first one to apologize to
the player. But the player should still sit -- the ref's error wasn't
unsporting; the abuse was.
In the case of an erroneous action by the referee, such as sending off
the wrong player, there is nothing the ref can do to correct things,
once play has restarted. Subsequent play will have been altered by the
error, and who can say how the events would have come out? The league
would be justified to (or even have to) throw out the match results and
perhaps arrange a replay or schedule modification.
Jonny had an apt question about what the ref should do when he realizes,
after the fact, that he committed an error. Announcing the error right
away might excavate a big hole for the ref. It also might be the honest
and straightforward choice. In a recreational match, it might be
appropriate to announce that an erroneously ejected player will be
entitled to play. In a televised top pro match, it wouldn't do to
create secondary problems -- I'd recommend keeping quiet and putting the
details in the report. In either case, the damage is done, and the
unfairly disadvantaged team will have its opportunity for recourse.