The Authority of the Referee and Team Captain

August 10th, 2022

The Authority of the Referee

Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match.

Decisions during a match will be made to the best of the referee’s ability according to the Laws of the Game and the ‘spirit of the game’ and will be based on the opinion of the referee.

Law 5 (the Referee) states that, “the decisions of the referee, and all other match officials, must always be respected.” Players, team officials, spectators and any other person may disagree with a referee’s decision, however “the decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.”

 

The Role and Authority of the Team Captain

Reference to the team captain is found within the Laws of the game under Law 3 (The Players), which states the following;

The team captain has no special status or privileges but has a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of the team.

This reinforces the point that the team captain (or any player) has no right, according to the laws of the game, to approach a match official or question/dispute a decision.

The philosophy and spirit of the Laws are that “all those in authority, especially coaches and team captains, have a clear responsibility to the game to respect the match officials and their decisions.” Further, “players have a major responsibility for the image of the game and the team captain should play an important role in helping to ensure that the Laws and referees’ decisions are respected.”

Match officials should treat players with respect and are encouraged to communicate effectively with participants when required, but this does NOT mean answering all questions related to decision in a game or entering into disputes with players (be it the captain or any other participant). Team captains (and players) should respect the role of the match officials, regardless of whether or not there is agreement on a certain decision(s).

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