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Question Number: 35573

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/13/2024

RE: competive Adult

Brian Casey of Newmarket, on Canada asks...

Is it possible to issue the same player two Red Cards in the same game??
The situation was as follows.
The player was issued a Red Card during the game. The same player when issued the Red Card verbally swears and threatens the Referee??

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Brian,
there is no reason to show a red card twice to the same person. Any further actions of belligerence, dissent or abuse is or can be recorded as additional misconduct on the match report! Being aware of the impact that a send off has, a referee often gives a bit of leeway to a poor reaction as long as it is not overtly PPP (public, personal and provocative) or idiotic in scope!

It was many years ago I showed the red card to a player who proved to be very difficult to deal with. Wanting to fight with just about anyone. I recall warning him that the match would not continue in his presence. I also asked him did he really want to be escorted out by the local authorities? In our case, the RCMP! I also suggested his antics and attitude are doing him no favours in how the incident could be viewed by the disciplinary committee while I held the red card in my hand .

Now doing that was possibly, not the best idea, as I recalled later players smacking the red card out of a referees hand and then he was scrambling about trying to pick it up and show it again. Aside from looking foolish, it tainted the attitude of the match more of retaliation and spittle anger situation than a professional no nonsense approach of simply getting to the point of the incident in question. Holding the red card aloft, pointing with the free hand to exit the FOP and then put the card back into the rear pocket! EVERYBODY gets the message!

The red card is a definitive signal that the player or personal being shown the red card can no longer take part in the match.

If a substitute or substituted player or team personal coach manager etc.. then that individual MUST exit the FOP from the technical area before the game can restart .

If a player is shown the red card then the team is reduced in numbers by their absence as no one can replace a red carded player.

In youth that player may well not be sent away from the field but left in the care of an adult. At the pro level you note they are exited into the changeroom areas.

If it is youth match and it is an unruly spectator/non participant/ parent although technically not bound to the LOTG for dismissal, codes of conduct local bylaws and affirmative action plans by the coaching staff allow for local authorities to be called. The youth referee requests the coaches to deal with spectators rather than direct confrontation.

It is the referees responsibility to ensure the match resumes only if all participants are in compliance within a safe fair match. A publicly displayed red card is an indicator few people fail to grasp!


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
The simple answer is that it is not necessary nor approved in Law

A red card means that the player takes no further part in the game. After that any further misconduct gets added on to the misconduct report such as for example offensive insulting and abusive language towards the referee after getting sent off say for serious foul play.

While one might feel that a second red card might send out a signal it is has no standing in Law as a player can only be dismissed once.
It also will look unprofessional as the player has already been shown a red card so there is no possibility of continuing participation. It will look retaliatory which is not a good position for a referee to be in. Rather a firm red card is all that is required with perhaps advice to leave the field of play and that the continuing misconduct is not achieving anything other than adding to the players disciplinary woes.
That approach will demonstrate the ability to rise above hostile misconduct and remain professional and unemotional not allowing oneself to be goaded down to the level of the miscreant.

The important part is the sending off report where it should add on the afters as a detailed part of the report. Disciplinary bodies take a dim view of afters where a player has been already sent off and in most instances it adds to the suspension tariff. Showing a second red card adds nothing whatsoever to that and it does not happen.

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