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2011 Referee Week in Review - Week 16



Referee Week in Review – Week 16

The Situation: Colorado and Houston are tied 0-0 as the match ends.

The Play: As the game is coming to a conclusion, there is a confrontation between players from Colorado and Houston. The referee crew works to diffuse the situation, and the Colorado player is issued a caution for unsporting behavior. After the final whistle, the Colorado player chooses to confront the referee.

The Decision: The referee issues a straight red for foul and abusive language.

My Take: Players and coaches are responsible for their conduct at all points of game, including before the match begins and after play has concluded. A referee has the authority at all times to sanction improper behavior in order to maintain the integrity of the game.

The Laws of the Game: FIFA’s interpretations and guidelines for Law 5 state that “the referee has the power to show yellow or red cards during the half-time interval and after the match has finished … since the match remains under his jurisdiction at these times.”


The Situation: Toronto and Vancouver are tied 0-0 in the 53rd minute.

The Play: During a penalty kick attempt, the Toronto penalty taker runs towards the ball to take his shot and subsequently scores. At the same time, a teammate enters the area well before the ball is struck.

The Decision: The referee disallows the goal and orders a re-take. 

My Take: The Laws of the Game governing the taking of a penalty kick are clear. No player from either team may enter the penalty area prior to the ball being struck. When a member of the attacking team encroaches the area and a goal is scored, that goal must be disallowed and the penalty taken again.

The Laws of the Game: Law 14 lists the infringements and outcomes of encroachment that can occur after the whistle is blown to initiate the taking of a penalty kick and before the ball is played.

Michael Kennedy is a current MLS referee and has officiated in the league since its founding in 1996. In addition to serving as a professional referee, he has also represented U.S. Soccer as both a FIFA referee and assistant referee.

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