Dissent & Foul or
Abusive Language
or Gestures
Guide for Referees
• 3”P’s”
• Public: Can others see it. What message is
the player sending? Who can hear the
comments? How loud are the comments?
Are these actions made to “show up” the
referee? Do these words or actions make the
referee look negative to others?
• Personal: Are the comments directed at the
referee? Is the player frustrated with what
just happened? What is the tone and voice
of the comment?
• Provocative: Are the comments meant to
incite? Is the tension level now heightened?
Is anger meant to promote further conflict on
the field? Is there gender or racial or sexual
comments and what are the ramifications?
• A player who continues after play has
restarted, will be cautioned.
• A player who follows you around, will be
• A player who raises their voice loudly, will be
• A player who does one of the three “P’s”, will
be cautioned.
• A player who goes after an AR, will be
Isolate the player, quiet word
Integrity is questioned, caution.
If ball is in play, restart with an indirect free
kick, where the offence occurred.
• You may play advantage, but you must deal
with it at next stoppage.
• Setting a standard allows colleagues to
flourish in the future.
• What is the line that is crossed?
• When does dissent become FAIL&G?
• When does FAIL&G take away from
spectators enjoying the game?
• When do you start to prevent it?
• Foul language can be directed at anyone,
anything or oneself.
• Abusive language can be directed at
anyone, including officials, players,
spectators or any other participant in the
• Abusive language need not be a foul but its
effect is the worst type of foul.
• Abusive body language must be dealt as
abusive language.
• If any of 3”P’s” are used in combination they
are foul and abusive.
• Referee does nor discern what is said in the
• What is said in private does not carry into a
• Not dealing with FAIL&G brings the game
into disrepute.
• Applying standards to the age groups must
be realistic.
• Youth players get no leniency.
• Summary:
• If you find the words or actions offensive to
you, other players, coaches, spectators, you
must deal with it.
• A player who uses FAIL&G must be sent off.
• Referees must be consistent, have courage,
and make the correct application.
• You will be respected for your actions.