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Update to Match Officials Section, Return To Play Guidelines

By Staff, 07/07/20, 10:00AM EDT


There will be zero tolerance for spitting on, or around the field of play.

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

Ontario Soccer, in consultation with Canada Soccer and the Government of Ontario, continues to monitor the most recent developments surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the resulting public health crisis and now the province’s Return to Play.

After consultation with Canada Soccer, the following adjustment has been made to Phase 2 - Return to Training and Modified Games of the Ontario Soccer Return To Play Guide, under the Match Officials section.

There will be zero tolerance for spitting on, or around the field of play. If spitting is seen by one of the Match Officials, the following procedure will be followed:

If aimed or directed towards an individual it is an automatic red card and the player will be sent off, as per International Football Association Board (IFAB) Laws of the Game.

For all other types of spitting and if a player or technical staff is seen to be spitting on or around the field of play:

  • The First incident will result in a verbal warning.
  • The Second incident, if done by that same person, will result in a Yellow Card or Caution for Unsporting Behavior.
  • The Third incident, if done by the same person, will result in a second Yellow Card or Caution and therefore will then be dismissed from the game.

Coaches are responsible to ensure players are aware of the Spitting Zero Tolerance requirement, and the importance of following COVID-19 guidelines.

For further information on this change, please contact Nicky Pearson, Senior Manager Match Officials Development