A main referee shall be appointed to officiate at each game. His authority and the exercise of the powers granted to him by the Laws of the Game shall commence as soon as he enters the locality where the pitch is situated and shall cease as soon as he leaves it.

During the match, his powers of penalising shall extend to offences committed when play has been temporarily suspended and when the ball is out of play. His decision on points of fact connected with the game shall be final, as far as the result of the game is concerned.

If the main referee and the assistant referee both signal a foul simultaneously and there is a discrepancy as to which team is to be awarded the advantage, the decision of the main referee shall be given priority.

The main referee and the assistant referee have the right to impose a caution or an expulsion, but in the case of a discrepancy between them, the main referee's decision shall prevail.

The main referee shall:

  1. enforce the Laws;

  2. refrain from penalising in cases where he is satisfied that, by doing so, he would be giving an advantage to the offending team;

  3. keep a record of all incidents which occur before, during or after the game;

  4. act as timekeeper in the event that this official is not present;

  5. have discretionary powers to stop the game for any infringement of the Laws and to suspend or terminate the game whenever, by reason of the elements, interference by spectators, or other cause, he deems it necessary. In such a case he shall submit a detailed report to the authority responsible, within the stipulated time and in accordance with the provisions set up by the national association under whose jurisdiction the match was played;

  6. from the time he enters the pitch, caution any player guilty of misconduct or ungentlemanly behaviour and, if he persists, suspend him from further participation in the game. In such cases the main referee shall communicate the name of the offender to the authority responsible within the stipulated time, and in accordance with the provisions laid down by the national association under whose jurisdiction the match was played;

  7. allow no person other than the players and the assistant referee to enter the pitch without his permission;

  8. stop the game if, in his opinion, a player has been seriously injured; have the player removed as soon as possible from the pitch and immediately resume the game. If a player is slightly injured, the game shall not be stopped until the ball has ceased to be in play. A player who is able to reach the touch- line or goal line unaided shall not be treated on the pitch;

  9. send off the pitch any player who, in his opinion, is guilty of violent conduct, serious foul play or the use of foul or abusive language;

  10. signal for the game to be restarted after every stoppage;

  11. decide that the ball provided for a match meets with the requirements of Law II.