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Question Number: 9129

Law 3 - Number of Players

RE: premier Under 17

rebecka of brooklyn heights, Oh USA asks...

I was watching an england qualifer in england and david beckhams shoe fell off while the game was going on. The ball came to him so he quickly played a 1 touch ball with the foot without the shoe. The ref stopped the game and gave him a card for not having his shoe on. I was curious if there is really a rule stating u cannot play a ball if your shoe fell off? Thanks

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Didn't see the match. There may be more to what happened than what you saw. First thing that comes to mind is that professional footballers do not loose their boots. They have to be helped off and the only way to do that is step on the back of the foot. ..Usually the referee just asks the player to correct his equipment as time allows. At a later time the referee will check to see if that's been done and if not some action must be taken. ..An example lies in FIFA'S Questions and Answers 2004 in Law 4: ..8. The referee requests a player to remove jewellery. After a number of minutes, the referee realises that the player is still wearing the jewellery. ..What actions should the referee take? ..The player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour. The player is instructed by the referee to leave the field of play to remove the jewellery. ..10. A player accidentally loses his footwear and immediately scores a goal. Is this permitted? ..Yes. The player did not intentionally play barefoot, because he lost his footwear by accident...Could that be what happened? ..9 April -- Additional information came to light last night at a meeting of my Referee's Association in a presentation given by one of America's FIFA referees. It seems that Beckham was asked by the referee to leave the field and correct his equipment. He reentered to the field of play without the referee's permission and that is one of the three mandatory cautions listed in Law 3. Courageous referee! ..Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Morley

I watched this game and was curious as to why the referee cautioned the player. I have since heard that this was for dissent as he was complaining to the referee about the tackle that had left him without his boot on in the first place rather than actually playing the ball without having his boot on...Cheers

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