Referee Changes Decision

In the instance where a player may have handled the ball and the REFEREE waves play on after protest from the opposing team, the linesman DID NOT raise his flag, so the play continued where the team of which the player who may have handled the ball scored. The REFEREE allowed the goal, after the goal was scored and celebrated the opposing team protested and prevented play from being restarted (by removing the ball from the centre circle) and argued with the referee until he consulted with the same linesman WHO DID NOT RAISE HIS FLAG, apparently the linesman said it was a handball… the referee called back play and disallowed the goal…now can someone please enlighten me if this is possible when consulting FIFA’s rule book (LAW 5)..thank you.

3 Answers

The very end of Law 5, “Decisions of the Referee”, covers this.

The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.

The match was obviously not terminated, and the kickoff had not yet occurred, so the referee may change his decision according to the Laws.

A personal theory: If the referee waved on play, it would be understandable if the assistant referee didn’t wave for a foul (as his flag would most likely just be waved down). The most likely scenario that I can think of is that the assistant referee had a better angle on the incident than the referee did, and decided that (instead of loudly yelling at the referee to stop play, because the flag would not be sufficient) he would just clear it up at the next stoppage.

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