FFA to trial cards for team officials within the Technical Area

Football Federation Australia (FFA) will continue to be a pioneer of World Football with the introduction of Yellow cards (YC) and Red cards (RC) for Coaches and other team officials.

The trial is aimed at improving the behaviour of team officials primarily towards match officials but also opposition team officials whilst in the technical area.

The Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League will be the first top-tier domestic competitions in the world to receive approval from the International Football Advisory Board (IFAB) to conduct the experimental trial which will commence from this weekend (Round 5 of the Hyundai A League and Round 2 of the Westfield W League commencing Friday 3rd November 2017) and also from the opening round of the Foxtel Y-League.

The Head of the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, Greg O’Rourke, believes this trial will be a positive move for the game.

“Referees already have a process which is by way of conversation to Coaches to warn them before removing them from the technical area after poor behaviour. Essentially, this trial will visualise those steps and as such better communicate to fans that the Referees are giving the coaches and others formal warnings." said O’Rourke.

“It will help fans and viewers better understand the issues that match officials face on a weekly basis and help promote respect towards them. Importantly it will send a strong message throughout the game at grassroots level that poor behaviour towards match officials and opposition team officials is unacceptable and carries consequences."

“In addition, we have also updated our regulations so this consequence of accumulating yellow cards for team officials will be in line with the same regulations for players and will lead to Coaches and other team officials being required to miss games when the accumulation reaches the thresholds.”

“The ideal outcome of the trial is to improve behaviour from within the technical area towards match officials and also between team benches,” concluded O’Rourke.

This experimental trial is part of IFAB’s global “Play Fair” initiative which aims to make football fairer, more attractive and more enjoyable, promoting players and officials as positive role models for society.

Guidelines to match officials for cautioning and dismissing team officials and players within the Technical area

  • Referees will use their judgement when deciding whether behaviour by a team official requires a warning (Ask), a caution (Tell) or dismissal (Remove).
  • Yellow card and red card infringements by team officials are specified in the relevant Disciplinary Regulations.
  • A team official who accumulates Yellow Cards during the course of the season and respective Finals Series will serve suspensions in line with the relevant competition regulations.
  • The following examples are provided as guidelines for match officials.

Warning offences / “Ask” – unacceptable behavior

Include (but not limited to):

  • Minor / low level disagreement (by word or action) with a decision
  • Failing to cooperate with a match official e.g. ignoring a 4th Official’s instruction / request
  • Persistent questioning of refereeing decisions
  • Entering the field of play in a respectful / non-confrontational manner (including attempting to assist in a non-confrontational situation)
  • Leaving the technical area in a non-confrontational manner (e.g. running down the touchline in excessive goal celebrations)

Caution (YC) offences / “Tell” – irresponsible behaviour

Include (but not limited to):

  • Persistent / repeated unacceptable behaviour (including repeated warning offences)
  • Dissent by word or action including:
    • Throwing / kicking drink bottles or other objects to show dissent (i.e. non-aggressive manner, not on the field, not at someone)
    • Gestures which show a clear lack of respect for the match official(s) e.g. sarcastic clapping
  • Gesturing or acting in a provocative, derisory or inflammatory way, including gesturing for a RC or YC to be shown
  • Clearly / persistently not respecting the confines of their team’s technical area
  • Deliberately entering the technical area of the opposing team (non-confrontational)
  • Delaying the restart of play by their team
  • Showing a lack of respect for the game

Dismissal (RC) offences / “Remove” – serious irresponsible behaviour

Include (but not limited to):

  • Violent conduct (including kicking or throwing a water bottle or other object in a dangerous or aggressive manner)
  • Deliberately throwing / kicking an object on to the field of play
  • Physical or aggressive behaviour
  • Using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
  • Spitting at any person
  • Entering the field of play to interfere with play or an opposing player
  • Deliberately leaving the technical area to:
    • Act in a provocative or inflammatory manner
    • Enter the opposing technical area in an aggressive or confrontational manner
    • Delaying the restart of play by the opposing team e.g. holding on to the ball, kicking the ball away, obstructing the movement of a player
  • Receiving a second YC in the same match