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FA Rules – What happens when the match Referee doesn’t see what happens?

There are times in a match, where the ref, the linesmen or the fourth official don’t see what happens. It could be an off the ball elbow, a stamp in a player melee or an off the ball incident that is just missed by the officials.

In this video, the FA guide us through what incidents can occur, the evidence process and what retrospective punishment they can give.

For example in the Luis Suárez and Branislav Ivanovic biting incident on April 21 2013. The confrontation and bite was not seen by any of the officials at the time, but it was caught on camera. It was then referred to an independent  panel of three former referees who examined the evidence to decide if retrospective punishment was merited.

The FA then decided that the normal 3 match suspension for violent conduct was insufficient and instead gave him a 10 match ban. In their written reasons, the FA pointed to Suárez’s lackadaisical attitude to the whole incident, citing that he “had not fully appreciated the gravity and seriousness of this truly exceptional incident” They also argued that “these unsavoury pictures would have given a bad image of English football domestically and across the world alike” and that it would act as a deterrent to further behaviour.

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