Yellow and red cards can be issued for misconduct in technical area

Tuesday 31 Jul 2018
Yellow and red cards can now be issued for misconduct in the technical area

From the start of the 2018-19 season, yellow and red cards will be issued by match officials for misconduct committed in the technical area during specific competitions.

This trial follows a review by the English game’s stakeholders of the pre-existing technical area code of conduct, which was established in 2015 and sets out the behaviours expected of occupants of the technical area and establishes how the match officials will implement the code.

Disciplinary action will be taken for accumulated ‘stage 1 warnings’ for technical area occupants in the following competitions [first team competitive matches only]:

  • Premier League
  • Emirates FA Cup [from the first round proper]
  • English Football League [EFL]
  • EFL Cup
  • EFL Trophy
  • National League

[In the Premier League, stage 1 warnings will be issued verbally without the use of cards].

Unlike accumulated player cautions, there is no cut-off date for yellow cards issued for technical area misconduct.

An automatic suspension will be triggered when an individual reaches the following thresholds [please note play-off matches – semi-finals and finals – in the EFL leagues and National League and the Emirates FA Cup Final shall be exempt from any automatic period of suspension arising from an accumulation of stage 1 warnings by technical area occupants].

Number of stage 1 warnings  Suspension [to commence with immediate effect]
 4  One match
 8  Two matches
 12  Three matches
 16  Misconduct charge (sanction to be determined by a regulatory commission)

What is a stage 1 warning?

As outlined in the technical area code of conduct, for any activity considered to be irresponsible the match referee has the authority to issue a formal warning to the individual concerned.

Irresponsible behaviour includes but is not limited to:

  • inappropriate language and / or gestures towards the match officials which are an obvious show of dissent or an attempt to influence the decisions of the match officials;
  • kicking or throwing water bottles, coats or other similar objects in an obvious show of dissent;
  • sarcastic clapping and / or other gestures intended to undermine the authority of the match officials;
    entering the opponents’ technical area in an inappropriate manner;
  • gesturing waving an imaginary yellow/red card.

The formal warnings are reported to The FA using the same process as player cautions and dismissals.

Yellow and red card cut-off dates for players

For the first time, the 2018-19 season will also see the introduction of competition specific suspensions for yellow cards in the following competitions:

  • Premier League
  • EFL
  • National League
  • Emirates FA Cup
  • EFL Cup
  • Buildbase FA Trophy

Therefore, the cut-off dates for receiving a sanction as a result of accumulating cautions in league matches only are:

Number of cautions  Cut-off date [inclusive]
 Five [Premier League]  Following 19 league fixtures
 Five [EFL]  Following 19 league fixtures
 Five [National League]  Following 23 league fixtures
 10 [Premier League  Following 32 league fixtures 
 10 [EFL]  Following 37 league fixtures
 10 [National League]  Following 37 league fixtures
 15 [All leagues]  *End of the season**

The remaining competitions will carry suspensions in those competitions only when a player has received two yellow cards in that competition.

N.B. Discipline in the EFL Trophy is competition specific and remains unchanged from last season.

* The FA Women’s Super League does not have cut-off dates. Automatic suspensions for players accumulating 5, 10, 15 cautions etc. will take effect at any stage during the season.

** This does not apply to play-off matches.

By FA Staff