Case Study: The Spirit of the Game

As is always the case, the scenarios described in Ripped are based on actual experiences shared with iTooTr by the referees involved.  Certain details are changed to protect the anonymity of the referees involved.

In an important match between two boys under 19 teams, there are 16 seconds left in overtime, with the White team up 1-0.  A player on the Blue team is injured, and doesn’t quickly get up, so the White team goalkeeper throws the ball in to touch. The injured player is given medical attention and is safely removed from the field of play.

In the spirit of fair play, the referee asks the Blue team to throw the ball in to the White  side’s goalkeeper. The Blue player taking the throw declines to do so, and takes the throw in to restart the match.  The ball is quickly played near the White penalty area where a White defender makes a tactical move to handle the ball. The referee whistles for the foul, which is just outside the penalty area.  The referee also administers a caution to the offending White team defender for the tactical foul.

With approximately 10 seconds remaining in stoppage time, the Blue team scores directly from the resulting free kick. The referee whistles for full time, and now kicks from the mark will determine the winner of the match.  The Blue team kicks first, and the first kick is saved by the White keeper.  In the process of celebrating the save, the White keeper runs up to the Blue kicker, loudly taunts him, and is subsequently sent off by the referee, consistent with the rules of competition.

In the end, the Blue team prevails during KFTM and is the winner of the match.

What, if anything, could the referee have done differently that might have prevented the  situation at the end of the match?  Could the referee have taken any action that might have prevented the ugly confrontation between the Blue kicker and White goalkeeper during the KFTM phase of the match?