Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the
Laws of the Game (especially Fifa law 5) in connection with the match to which the referee has been
Powers and duties of the Referee
• enforces the Laws of the Game.
• controls the match in cooperation with the assistant referees and, where
applicable, with the fourth official.
• ensures that any ball used meets the requirements of Law 2.
• ensures that the players’ equipment meets the requirements of Law 4.
• acts as timekeeper and keeps a record of the match.
• stops, suspends or abandons the match, at his discretion, for any
infringements of the Laws.
• stops, suspends or abandons the match because of outside
interference of any kind
• stops the match if, in his opinion, a player is seriously injured and ensures
that he is removed from the field of play. An injured player may only return
to the field of play after the match has restarted.
• allows play to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in his
opinion, only slightly injured.
• ensures that any player bleeding from a wound leaves the field of play. The
player may only return on receiving a signal from the referee, who must be
satisfied that the bleeding has stopped.
• allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been
committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original
offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time.
• punishes the more serious offence when a player commits more than one
offence at the same time.
• takes disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable
and sending-off offences. He is not obliged to take this action immediately
but must do so when the ball next goes out of play.
• takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a
responsible manner and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of
play and its immediate surrounds.
• acts on the advice of the assistant referees regarding incidents that he has
• ensures that no unauthorised persons enter the field of play.
• indicates the restart of the match after it has been stopped.
• provides the appropriate authorities with a match report, which includes
information on any disciplinary action taken against players and/or team
officials and any other incidents that occurred before, during or after the
Decisions of the referee
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 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.