A substitute entering the field of play: how do you deal with this? It’s a rare situation in the German leagues. What is your call?
It’s a situation described in one of my weekly Laws of the Game Quizzes. Below the video you’ll see how you need to handle.
In the German Second Bundesliga game between Holstein Kiel and VfL Bochum this rare accident happens. Kiel player Michael Eberwein is doing his warm-up behind the goal-line. Because the ball goes wide, he stops the ball to make it easier for the goalkeeper to grab it.
But what Eberwein doesn’t realise is that the ball did not wholly cross the line. This means the ball was still in play and he intereferes with play. The video referee calls over the referee to check the video footage.
LOTG on a substitute entering the field of play
The Laws of the Game are very clear on this:
“If a team official, substitute, substituted or sent-off player or outside agent enters the field of play, the referee must only stop play if there is interference with play.” Check!
“Have the person removed when play stops”. He already left.
“Take appropriate disciplinary action If play is stopped and the interference was by:
- a team official, substitute, substituted or sent-off player, play restarts with a direct free kick or penalty kick
- an outside agent, play restarts with a dropped ball If a ball is going into the goal and the interference does not prevent a defending player playing the ball, the goal is awarded if the ball enters the goal (even if contact was made with the ball) unless the interference was by the attacking team.
In this case a substituted interferes with play, which means play has to be restarted with a penalty kick.
The role of the video referee
But doesn’t this seem a minor offence? Yes, the ball would have gone out anyways. But as the restart would have been a penalty kick, it means VAR will take action.