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Injuries are something that occurs no matter which sport you play, whether that be football, baseball, basketball, and so on. We always see players getting injured from various things but what about the referees? What happens to a referee when they get injured? Read on to find out.
As per FIFA rules, before a match is set to take place, there must be a clear understanding of who is going to replace the match referee if he/she gets injured or is not able to continue. Usually, if a referee is unable to continue the match the responsibility then carries over to the fourth official or the senior assistant referee to complete the match.
What happens if a referee is injured during a soccer match?
If it is an international match, the responsibility then falls to the fourth official and this is because he or she will have the experience to take over as the main referee for the match. The fourth official is essentially a substitute for the main referee.
However, if there are only three match officials then the senior assistant referee with then specifically work one side of the field and the assistant referee would then take the place of the main referee.
Additionally, if there is no ready-made replacement (usually in kids’ soccer or amateurs) then both the main referee and his/her assistant would then split duties and have no official on one side of the field.
Under the laws of FIFA officials can not be in charge of a match if there are only two referees, instead, the other referee will change his positioning on the field to help cover the areas that the main referee would normally cover.
The then assistant referee would then extend his or her vision to help cover areas that could potentially be missed. For example, the referee can tell the assistant referee to cover more of their area and go beyond their normal section of the pitch i.e. take charge of the penalty area or other areas of the pitch.
In amateur soccer, if there is only one official and he/she can not continue then it is normal practice to ask a person who is agreed upon by both teams to then take up the official role for the match. On some odd occasions if there is no way a referee can be found then players of both teams can then come to an agreement and call their own fouls however this very rarely happens at all as normally at least one person can be found to officiate the match.
How often do referees get injured in soccer?
As with any sports, injuries happen to players and the same goes for the referees too. The average rates of injuries for referees during their training and matches that they officiate were around 4.6 percent for training and 19.6 percent in matches per 1000 hours that they are active.