6 referees involved in Jeonbuk-Pohang match suspended for rest of season

Referees who failed to properly manage the substitution situation in the Jeonbuk Hyundai-Pohang Steelers match in the 35th round of the K League 1 have been suspended for the remainder of the season.

The Referee Committee of the Korea Football Association held a referee evaluation subcommittee at the Football Hall in Jongno-gu, Seoul, on Jan. 31, and decided to suspend all six referees who presided over the game for the remainder of the season in connection with the “violation of substitution procedures” that occurred in the Jeonbuk-Pohang match at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Jan. 28.

The referee committee held the six referees (head referee, standby referee, first assistant referee, second assistant referee, video assistant referee (VAR) and assistant VAR referee) responsible for violating the implementation and observance of Article 3.3 of the Laws of the Game and decided to suspend their assignments for the remainder of the 2023 K League and other competitions, including the FA Cup.

In particular, both the head referee and the standby referee, who were more responsible for the failure to enforce the rule by presiding over the game, will be referred to the year-end agenda of the Referee Committee for a possible demotion of the referee to the next level of the K League 1 and K League 2 referee list.

The “player substitution incident” occurred in the 22nd minute of the first half of the Jeonbuk-Pohang match when Pohang requested a player substitution while Pohang defender Kim Yong-hwan was being treated off the field for an injury.

Pohang requested to substitute Shin Kwang-hoon for Kim In-sung, but the referees mistakenly thought that the injured Kim Yong-hwan was being substituted and allowed Shin Kwang-hoon to come on while Kim In-sung had not left the field.

This led to a situation where Kim In-sung and Shin Kwang-hoon played together for about four and a half minutes.

After realizing that the substitution was incorrect, the referees sent Kim In-sung off the field and the game resumed.

“Referees must thoroughly manage and supervise the process of injuries and treatment of players, as well as the entrance and exit of players from the stadium,” said Lee Jung-min, chairman of the Referee Committee. “The referee’s mistake, which occurred in a situation where injured players were transported, treated around the stadium, and players were substituted at the same time, can be called a human error, but it is difficult to tolerate in the K League 1, the highest level of Korean soccer.”

Meanwhile, the KFA will decide whether to forfeit the game or not after a full review.

An official from the professional league said, “As it is not a matter of mechanical judgment, we need more time to review it,” adding, “Due to the FA Cup schedule, there will be no K League matches for a while, so we need to make a reasonable judgment rather than a quick decision.” 슬롯게이밍

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