Referees told how to deal with coughing, spitting and goal celebrations

Monday, 3 August, 2020 10comments  |  Jump to last

According to a report in The Times, the FA has issued guidance to referees on coughing, spitting and goal celebrations as the sport proceeds while government rules on the containment of Covid-19 are in force.

FA guidance for referees includes the following: “Where the referee is certain that someone deliberately, and from close range, coughed into the face of an opponent or match official… the referee should take action under the Law 12 ‘using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures'.

“The action of moving the head/mouth towards someone and then coughing would fall within the ‘spirit' and general definition of a gesture which is ‘a movement of part of the body, especially a hand or the head, to express an idea or meaning'.

“If the incident was not severe enough to merit a sending-off, a caution could be issued for ‘unsporting behaviour — shows a lack of respect for the game'.”

Guidance on goal celebrations states: “Match officials are not responsible for ensuring compliance with social distancing during goal celebrations, this is the responsibility of the player.”

On spitting: “Spitting on the floor is not an act of misconduct, unless it is at someone when it is punishable with a red card, as per the laws of the game.

“Other acts of spitting or similar actions, eg, nose-clearing, are strongly discouraged for all participants. If advice is offered and clearly ignored, then the referee should make specific mention in their match report to the competition.”


Reader Comments (10)

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Anthony Murphy
1 Posted 03/08/2020 at 12:24:21
I can’t wait to see VAR trying to work out if the cough was deliberate or not. Players trying to explain to the ref it was puff pastry flakes from the sausage roll they ate for lunch.

No prizes for guessing what club will be the only one hit with this in the entire history of the game. 😃

Brian Wilkinson
2 Posted 03/08/2020 at 13:40:00
Is there anything in place for ex-players spitting in public? Eyes are on you, Carra lad.
Dennis Stevens
3 Posted 03/08/2020 at 17:18:46
Will we see our players with Everton branded hankies tucked into their sleeves next season? They can then wave them to signal another abject surrender!
Sean Callaghan
4 Posted 03/08/2020 at 17:29:21
Steady on, let's not run before we can walk. Before over-burdening these clowns with a whole bunch of new information, shouldn't we concentrate on the basics like how to recognise fouls, offside and goals?
David Pearl
5 Posted 03/08/2020 at 19:44:46
Lineker would have been in big trouble.
Martin Nicholls
6 Posted 03/08/2020 at 19:54:06
Brian #2 - nice one! Maybe he could also be admonished for his part in the riots at Pier Head a few weeks back when he ignored social distancing etc rules!

Maybe refs should also be reminded that drinks breaks are just that and should not be used as "coaching" breaks!

Pat Kelly
7 Posted 03/08/2020 at 19:58:24
What's a goal celebration?
Will Mabon
8 Posted 03/08/2020 at 21:18:25
Just another day of hyper-control in Dangerous Pandemic World.
Dennis Stevens
9 Posted 03/08/2020 at 21:30:55
Aye David. Grassy arse - my Spanish isn't too good!
Jack Convery
13 Posted 05/08/2020 at 11:51:59
El Hadj Diouff would need to retire if he still played.

What about biting? Surely that would be just as dangerous.

Tell you what: just ban anyone in an RS shirt and prevent it happening at all.

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