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Laws of the Game


5. Offences and sanctions

If a named substitute starts a match instead of a named player and the referee is not informed of this change:

  • the referee allows the named substitute to continue playing

  • no disciplinary action may be taken against the named substitute

  • the named player can become a named substitute

  • the number of substitutions is not reduced

  • the referee reports the incident to the appropriate authorities

If a substitution is made during the half-time interval or before extra time, the procedure must be completed before the match restarts. If the referee is not informed, the named substitute may continue to play, no disciplinary action is taken and the matter is reported to the appropriate authorities.

If a player changes places with the goalkeeper without the referee’s permission, the referee:

  • allows play to continue

  • cautions both players when the ball is next out of play but not if the change occurred during half-time (including half-time of extra time) or the period between the end of the match and the start of extra time and/or kicks from the penalty mark

For any other offences:

  • the players are cautioned

play is restarted with an indirect free kick, from the position of the ball when play was stopped