Blog,  Laws Of The Game

Would you give a yellow for pulling shirt off?

Leo Blank, editor of Dutch referee magazine De Scheidsrechter, is wondering wether amateur referees will give a yellow card if a player pulls off his shirt after he/she scores.

Nobody ever did this in one of my matches, but I think it’s a good question. Are there special rules about that for amateur levels? Would YOU give a yellow card for that officiating at lower football levels? Don’t hesitate to join the discussion below.

And what if someone gives away his shirt to a fan who entered the field, like Andrei Shevchenko did this week?


  • Amjad

    I’m a referee in the USA (Arizona), and yes I would give anyone a yellow for taking shirt off. The call we get the most grief for is when there’s a re-start, but the ball is moving, and they play it. when we call it back; they say ” R U kidding me”.

  • admin

    Once, I called back because the ball was moving. None could understand. “Why do you do this. We can get a good chance now.” And so on. The free-kick was shot directly into the goal and they were in the lead from that moment. No more whining after that, like they forgot their anger of just a few minutes ago.

  • suprised

    What special rules??? Are you kidding? Laws of the game are clear regarding this aspect and you have to follow them EVERYWHERE.

  • admin

    Internationally there are exceptions made, for example for extra assistants. There could have been special regulations about pulling of the shirt because of sponsors.
    But I was mostly wondering who had to deal with it in amateur football.

  • Cameron B

    Definitely. It’s mandatory and we will fail assessments if we don’t handle it over here. I’m a referee in the amateurs in Texas and I’ve issued cautions for that in amateur, youth, and college levels.

  • dubhe

    it’s about how the limits are set in your country. at first, i was also surprised that you don’t caution/call the offences mentioned. however, if your coleagues don’t do that at the same lever it would be something odd from you to require it.
    in slovakia, it’s absolutely common that you caution players for pulling of the shirt and that you call back free kick if team tries to gain an unfair advantage (quick attack or so). if it’s deep in their half, then we usually don’t case – if it isn’t blatant 😉

  • Tristan Greaves

    I’m from England. At any level here, including out on the local park, a caution would be absolutely expected for the usual shirt offences. I would expect to drop a mark in ‘Application of Law’ when being assessed for failing to take action.

    It does sometimes feel like a harsh caution to give but it is never one that should surprise any of the players as it has been seen on TV quite a few times now.

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