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Question Number: 32719

Law 5 - The Referee 9/18/2018

RE: Adult

Jason lewis of Cardiff, Wales Wales asks...

If a player or person who is not allowed on the pitch comes on without the referee permission after a foul has been given to their team and then the person who comes on and tell the referee his or her view of the game to him and then they get involved with other players views of the tackle can the referee adanoneed the game for the safety of players and the ref

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
Normally this would not result in an abandonment as it would be handled by the player / substitute getting sent off or the spectator removed by the home team.
However the referee on the day is the sole judge of this and if he feels that the action of one or many is outside interference which could compromise the safety of the players and as referee he can without doubt abandon the game. A threat of violence towards the referee may be enough for the referee to decide to walk away.
Anyway it is never done lightly as it requires a detailed report which is sent to the League who will investigate the matter fully. A flimsy reason to abandon would not sit well with the authorities.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jason,
At first blush, it would appear that this incident might not be enough to cause an abandonment and the referee might have over-reacted. However it's a little difficult to say for sure without actually being there and experiencing what the referee experienced. If the referee perceived that this person's actions were a threat to the safety of either the players or themselves, that could be enough to trigger an abandonment. For instance, I'm not sure what you mean by 'they get involved with other players views of the tackle.' Was this more of a verbal or a physical involvement? If it involved a physical interference or confrontation, that might, depending on its exact nature, be judged by the referee as a justification for abandoning.

As ref McHugh says, this might be something that would more normally be handled by just removing the person but as mentioned, it's hard to be sure without being there.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Jason ,
given that NO one can enter the pitch during a match that is NOT a player it is of concern if an arbitrary individual chooses to do so and argue or threaten the officials on the pitch. If it WAS a substitute, player or a team official the referee can send them off or expel them as an individual. However if they are NOT related to the team they are far more of a safety threat ad hopefully the grounds has security that can have that individual (s)removed.
For a referee to abandon or terminate a match due to safety is a HUGE deal and upon the submission of the match report detailing why there will be a very serious investigation with possible fines or punishment for those involved!
Sad commentary though on a recreational setting to find such acrimonious conditions resulting in such a harsh decision.

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