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Question Number: 27194

Law 7 - Match Duration 2/22/2013

RE: REC Adult

Mike of Riverview, FL USA asks...

Hello, Mr. Referee. Somebody explained to me today that the whistle to end the half can not stop a scoring chance. His rationale was some babble about match fixing. Can you confirm whether or not this is true?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

No goal can be scored after the referee's whistle to stop play, including a whistle to indicate that time has expired.

But, the laws of the game authorize and direct the referee to add for time lost during the half for such things as injuries, cautions, retrieving balls etc. A wise referee will not decide that time has expired while there is an imminent chance that a goal will be scored. While it is lawful to stop play while the ball is headed toward the goal, it is not wise.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Mike,

The laws do not require the referee to extend time to allow an attack to resolve. In fact, blowing the whistle while the ball is in midair, on the way to goal, is perfectly legal.

However, many referees do strongly advise to wait until an attack is resolved before blowing the whistle for half/full time. This can be justified by the fact that stoppage time is never a precise calculation, but more of an approximation.

That does leave the question of what to do in games that sometimes have strict instructions to not apply stoppage time (such as tournaments etc), but that's a whole other kettle of fish.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mike
Not true. Once the referee sounds his whistle no further play is allowed including the ball that that is in the air that has not crossed the goal line or the scoring chance.
Many referees do not stop play in such situations as they do not use a precise timing method. Some though do and when the watch reaches zero the game is ended with the whistle sounding no matter where the ball is.
In the recent Champions League game between Manchester United and Real Madrid the referee ended the game on 3.00 of added time as United were about to take a corner. The referee was perfectly entitled to do so yet United players were none too happy about the decision. In the UK Premier league I suspect that the referee may have allowed the corner to be taken and he would have been entitled to do so.

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Answer provided by Referee Nathan Lacy

Early in my days of reffing pro matches a team was taking their jolly good time taking a corner kick after regulation had expired for the first half and we were in to added time. Clearly they felt they were entitled to take the kick. Knowing better and none to happy with the team's conduct I decided to blow the whistle after the ball had been kicked and was in the air which then continued to the foot of a fellow attacker and ended up in the back of the net. Goal disallowed. Suffice it to say that I never did that again (there was a rather 'animated' response from the players) and from that point forward I either allowed the kick to resolve or never allowed it to take place to begin with. As a friend of mine said to me in the locker room during half time - more guts than brains on that one. And he was right. All the best,

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Once the whistle blows, the referee has announced that play has already stopped. Anything that happens after this does not count so no, a goal cannot be scored after play has ended.

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