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Question Number: 31551

Law 10 - Determining the Outcome of a Match 5/19/2017

RE: Kids amateur Under 14

John Doyle of Portlaosie, Laois Ireland asks...

Hi, looking for a fact/rule based opinion please.

Our team this week competed in a cup semi final second leg. The result of the first leg was 2-2.
We were the home team. We therefore travelled away to play the second leg knowing the other team had 2 away goals already.
During the warm up the referee spoke to both teams and then again said to both captains at the coin toss that the away goals rule would only apply after extra time. This influence how our team finished the game by not over committing going forward.
After normal time the second leg final score was 0-0.
Both teams got on with proceedings and played out the extra time periods with our team scoring 2. Final score was 4-2 on aggregate after et.
Both teams left the field and ref called in the result as 2-0 on the night.
We then were told by the league chairman an hour after the whistle that the other team had queried the extra time and the result was then overturned deeming the score after normal time to be final.
The league claimed the ref made a mistake and the away goals counted after normal time.
Both teams played the game during the refs time in control under his instructions and his jurisdiction.
We believe the result should stand or at least be offered a replay in the spirit of the game.
Can you advise if FIFA rule 2 for referees or another rule determines if the referees decision is final on match result or is it just pertaining to cards, goals etc. Can match result be deemed at normal time dismissing the extra time period or should the match be replayed ?
As you can imagine there are several disappointed and frustrated people involved. Would
Appreciate quick response as we are in the protest phase.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
Unfortunately what you describe is not covered in the Laws of the Game other than the away goals rule is quite clear in that away goals count double at the end of the 90 minutes. Extra time is only played when both are tied at the end of the 90 which includes the away goals rule when it applies. So in this case the home team should have been declared the winner on the away goals rule at the end of the game.
I became aware of a situation recently where a team played two players that were deemed illegal despite the fact that a league official had said that the players were legal. The case of the matter was that the players were in fact illegal and the opinion of the league official was erroneous. The appeal on the decision to award the game to the opponents due to the illegal players ruled that the players were in fact illegal and as a result the protest failed. The argument made by the club that had they known the players were illegal they would not have played them went unheeded as the rule was clear and stated that they were. Obviously the losing club was none too happy with the league official yet it points to the principle that facts always trumps opinion.
So my opinion for what it is worth is that when away goals rule applies it is at the end if the game not just at the end of extra time. The case that the referee made an error does not change that fact nor does the circumstances of what might have been nor the fact that extra time was played when there was no need to.. The counter argument can be made that some in the club questioned the referees decision at the time.
Now having said all that the decision rests with the appeals committee and it can be guided by other factors such as the attitude of the opponents, time factor in the competition, spirit of the competition etc. I would not be hopeful though.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI john,
unfortunately the referee erred
If a match is tied after regulation on a two legged home & away match under the IFAB/FIFA guidelines it explicitly states the team with the greater number of away goals would be declared the winner under the LOTG. A referee although in charge of the on field decisions does not decide match results.

Good luck with your protest but I suspect it will not go through unless the opposing team sides with you & encouraged it to be so. One can never say for sure what a review committee MIGHT decide! But I think you waited too long to score those two goals you just needed 1 earlier!

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

I didn't get a chance to reply to this one but I'd just like to point out for future reference that the away goals rule is sometimes modified in the way mentioned. Here's an excerpt from an article on the topic:

''The away goals rule is the most commonly used way of deciding two-legged football.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes at home and 90 minutes away then, rather than go to penalties, the team that scored most goals in the away game goes through.

The [English] League Cup uses a modification of the rule in its two-legged semi-finals. Rather than imposing the rule after 180 minutes, the teams play extra time before away goals come into play.

An example would be the 2014 League Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Sunderland. United lost 2-1 at the Stadium of Light but were 1-0 up at the full time whistle at Old Trafford.

Under UEFA rules that would have meant they won on away goals.

If United had held on throughout extra-time, away goals would have applied and they would have gone through, but instead both teams scored and Sunderland won a penalty shootout.

The Football League play-offs used to use the same system as the League Cup, but the rule was scrapped in 1999 after an initiative from then Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks

From our pitch to your pitch in the spirit of fairplay

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