Misconduct can occur in many situations:

  • On or off the field,
  • By a player or by a substitute,
  • With the ball in play or not in play,
  • By itself or along with a foul

Some violations can be both a foul and misconduct

Players who commit misconduct are shown:

a yellow card (caution)


a red card (send off)

A player who gets a red card:

  • Must leave the game
  • cannot return to the game
  • Cannot be replaced (the team must play short)
Substitutes on the sideline can also be cautioned or sent from the field.

If this happens, the substitute's team does not have to play short
7 Misconduct/Violations which can be cautioned are:
Unsporting Behavior
(showing disagreement with referee's or assistant referee's decision by words or action)
Persistent Infringement
(committing many fouls)
Delaying the restart of play
(not starting play quickly enough or preventing the start of play)
Fails to respect the required distance
(ten yards) when other team's taking a free kick or corner kick (this used to be called "encroachment")
Player entering or re-entering the field without the permission of the referee
Player leaving the field without the permission of the referee
(except as part of normal play)
7 Misconduct/Violations which can be result in a send off (red card) are:
Serious Foul Play
(using violence while committing a direct free kick foul and competing for the ball)
Violent Conduct
(any other form of violence against anyone else)
Spitting at someone
Preventing a goal by handling the ball
(except the goalkeeper within the defending team's penalty area)
Preventing a goal or interfering with a clear goal-scoring opportunity by committing a foul
Using offensive, insulting, or abusive language or gestures
Being cautioned a second time in the same game
(the yellow card is shown for the second caution and then the red card is shown)
If play is stopped for misconduct
committed off the field or by a substitute

play is restarted by dropping the ball where the ball was when play was stopped

If play is stopped for misconduct on the field by a player and there wasn't a foul, the restart is an indirect free kick where the misconduct occurred