UEFA Referees Development Programme 2011

Revised version – 04.02.2012

5th Course for European
Futsal Referees

5 – 7 December 2011



Attention is drawn to a number
of agreements made at the recent 5th UEFA course for European
International Futsal Referees, for the benefit of futsal in Europe, adopting a
standard approach in terms of interpretation and application of the Futsal Laws
of the Game. The agreements refine those conclusions and recommendations
concluded at the UEFA courses for European Futsal Referees in 2003, 2005 and
2008, 2009, which form the basis of this document. Major new points added for
2011 are highlighted in bold italics below.

It was felt that the
conclusions and recommendations made by the participants after following the
theme of the course (“Uniformity in interpreting and applying the Laws
throughout Europe”) should be shared with futsal referees throughout national associations
in Europe and will also be useful for Futsal clubs.


1. Letting play flow


A basic principle in futsal is
to allow play to flow as freely as possible. The nature of futsal is a fast
game. Referees must try to restart the game when play is stopped (free kicks,
penalties, injuried players, show cards, etc) with the maximum speed.

2. Consistency in applying the


It was agreed that referees
must maintain a consistent level of punishment both before and after the fifth
accumulated foul. 2



3. Sliding


After the FIFA
Circular 1234 of 15 July 2010, the word “sliding” is not mentioned anymore in
the Law 11 (Law 12 after the new numbering of the Laws of the amendments of
2010) as one of the fouls penalised with a direct free kick, and it´s mentioned
“tackles an opponent”. So, if a player tackles an opponent in a manner
considered by the referees to be careless, reckless or using excessive force, a
direct free kick must be awarded to the opposing team. It was reiterated that
it makes no difference if the tackle is from behind, the front or the side.

4. Impeding
the progress of an opponent


Referees were
reminded that if a player impedes the progress of an opponent with his body,
and in doing so commits an offence usually punished by a direct free kick in
Law 12, they should award a direct free kick. Conversely, if the action of
impeding does not cause an offence usually punished by a direct free kick in
Law 12, an indirect free kick should be awarded.

5. Advantage


It was
confirmed that playing advantage should benefit the team it is given to.
Consequently, it was agreed that after the fifth accumulated foul, if a foul is
committed, the best advantage for a team is to be awarded a free-kick. Referees
are reminded that even when they apply advantage, the foul must be accumulated.
Referees should therefore take into consideration the accumulated fouls of both
teams so that if a 6
th foul occurs, after previously
applying advantage, the free kick must be taken according to the Laws of the
Game applicable after a 5
accumulated foul. Having
possession of the ball should not always be considered as an advantage in
futsal, unless it is clearly an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Too much
advantage may cause more serious offences. Where advantage is played, the
correct disciplinary sanctions must still be undertaken once play stops.

It is also
considered reasonable practice for a referee to delay giving a foul by one or
two seconds in order to see if a possible advantage actually develops. If after
this time has lapsed the referee considers there to be no advantage, play can
be brought back to where the infringement occurred and a free kick given (‘wait
and see’

6. Denying an
obvious goal-scoring opportunity


Referees were
reminded that a player (including the goalkeeper) who denies his
opponents a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately
handling a ball or by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
must be sent off.

In deciding if
an offence committed denies a player an obvious goal-scoring opportunity,
referees were made aware that the following criteria should be consider when
taking the decision:

– Type of the offence

– Possibility
to control the ball




– Speed and direction of the attacker

– Distance to the goal

– Position of the defenders (including goalkeeper)



If a player on
the defending team encroaches within 5m at a corner kick, kick-in and free
kick, he should be cautioned with a yellow card regardless of whether he
touches the ball or not.

8. Simulation


agreed that all simulating acts, which are intended to deceive the referee,
should be penalised by a caution regardless of the position of the offence. A
player’s action in trying to deceive the referee may take the following forms:

– where no contact has been made at all,

– from an attacker deliberately using a slight contact with
an opponent,

– by a player anticipating a possible contact from an

– following a player initiating a contact with an opponent

– overreacting and pretending the manner of the offence
deserves higher level of punishment.

9. Handball


Referees are
reminded that deliberate handball is punished with a direct free kick or
penalty kick if the offence is inside the penalty area. However, deliberate
handball should not be automatically punished by a caution or dismissal, unless
a player:

– deliberately and blatantly handles the ball to prevent an
opponent gaining possession

– attempts to score a goal by deliberately handling the ball

– pretends to be playing the ball with one part of his body
when he is really doing so with his hands in order to deceive the referees

– tries to prevent a goal or deny a goal scoring opportunity
with his hand when the goalkeeper is not inside his penalty area, and fails in
his attempt.

10. Showing of
red and yellow cards


received confirmation that only players can be shown the red or yellow card
(regardless of whether they are on the field of play or the bench). Players
would be cautioned:

i. For “demanding” that an opponent should receive a yellow

ii. When crowding round one of the referees – at least one
other player should receive a caution, and not just the initiator.

iii. For
dissent by word or gesture at or running towards one of the referees.



Any challenge involving excessive force (and therefore
endangering the safety of an opponent) must be considered as serious foul play
and result in a dismissal (red card).

Elbows used
deliberately as a weapon against an opponent are included in this category.

Referees must
identify and punish appropriately strong unfair challenges with hands and arms;
they should be aware of the particular danger of the deliberate movement of
arms and elbows in an unnatural manner.

Cards should
not be shown to any other team officials.

It was also
confirmed that if any player commits an offence during the interval between the
two periods of normal time or extra time that leads to his sending off., (text
his team shall start the next period with one player fewer.
The player who received the red card may not, of course, take any further part
in the match.

11. Control of


reported difficulties in deciding who should control the bench and agreed that
this should be the responsibility of the third referee. Only one official of
both teams should be allowed to stand and give instruction to the players. This
should be in a responsible manner and directly in front of his own team’s

12. Time-Out


During the one
minute time-out, it is important that referees know the difference between
players and substitutes. To facilitate this, substitutes must were bibs during
a time-out. If a player is sent-off during a time-out, his team restarts the
game with one player less. If a substitute is sent-off during a time-out, his
team restarts the game with same number of players.



were reminded that it is not allowed to make substitutions during time-outs.
Substitutions are allowed, as soon as the time-out is finished (even before the
ball is in play again).Holding around or in the penalty area.

should be pro-active prior to the taking of corner kicks, kicks-in or free
kicks near goal and should be clearly seen to be taking preventative actions.
Deal very firmly with any further illegal use of the arms/hands. If this
happens before the ball is in play, disciplinary sanctions should be
administered. In cases of holding/pushing after the ball is in play, referees
are expected to award a free kick or penalty kick in addition to possible
further disciplinary sanctions. Of course, if the ball is in play, the
accumulated foul will be counted.

14. Ball back
to the goalkeeper.


Law 12.-

An indirect
free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper: 5



 …….

 After
playing the ball, he touches the ball again in his own half of
the pitch, after it has been deliberately played to him by a team-mate
without an opponent playing or touching it.


Law 16.-

If the ball is
in play and the goalkeeper touches it again in his own half of
the pitch after it has been deliberately played to him by a team-mate,
without an opponent playing or touching it.


15. Signals


Attention was
drawn to the thirteen referee signals illustrated in the Futsal Laws of the
Game and referees were reminded that only these signals can be used. Signal of
advantage (to the table, when the ball is out of play) must be done 3-4 metres
in front of the table. In addition, it was recommended that signals should be
made only when the referee is stationary and before he takes his new position
(except in advantage situation) as signalling whilst moving may be confusing
and, in some cases, physically dangerous to players.

16. Indirect
free kick


It was
confirmed that when an indirect free kick is given, it should be signalled by
both referees.

17. The
four-second count


Referees were
reminded that this is mandatory in the following situations:

– Kick-in

– Corner kick

– Goal clearance

– Goal Keeper
controls the ball in his own half of the pitch.


of play

18. The referees especially ensure that restarts of
play are carried out quickly and do not allow play not to be restarted
immediately for tactical reasons after a temporary stoppage (kick-in, goal
clearance, corner kick or free kick). In these cases, the four-second count
starts and it is not necessary to use the whistle. In cases where the restart
does not allow the four-second count (kick-off or penalty kick), the player or
players who delay it are cautioned

19. Subsequent
responsibilities of referee who whistles for a foul.


It was
recommended that the same referee who whistles for a foul should be the one who
enters the pitch to administer cautions, sendings off and to ensure the five
metre distance if required. However, in situations where several players are
involved, it is recommended that 6


the other referee assists by ensuring the five metre distance
in order to allow the free-kick to be taken as soon as possible. To
measure the distance the referee should clearly pace out the five metres by
walking backwards from the ball. He should also make it clear to the team
taking the free kick that they must wait for him to whistle before taking the
free kick. To communicate this it is recommended that the referee show his
whistle to the players preparing to take the free kick before he begins to
measure the five-metre distance.

Confirmation of goal scored


The use of the
whistle is not needed to allow a goal. It´s mandatory if the situation is

21. Wearing of


No jewellery
may be worn by players and referees. Tape to cover jewellery is not allowed.
Referees are expected to set an example and also remove any items of their own
jewellery. A player later seen to be wearing jewellery on the pitch, must be
required to remove it immediately and should be cautioned (yellow card) for
unsporting behaviour.

22. The
duration of the match


If the ball
has been kicked towards the defending goalkeeper goal, the referees
must wait for the kick to end before the timekeeper may sound the whistle or
acoustic signal. The period end:

 The ball goes directly into the goal and goal is scored

 The ball leaves the boundaries of the pitch

 The ball touches the goalkeeper, the goalpost, crossbar or
ground, crosses the goal line and goal is scored.

 The ball touches any player other than the goalkeeper after
it has been kicked at the opposing goal and no infringement has been
committed that requires a direct free kick or a penalty kick to be retaken or,
during the trajectory of the ball, one of the teams does not commit an
infringement that is sanctioned with a direct free kick, beginning with the
sixth accumulated foul, or a penalty kick.

 The
defending goalkeeper stops the ball or it rebounds from the goalpost or
crossbar and does not cross the goal line.



23. Following the FIFA Laws of the Game edition 2010,
the Referee can be positioned on either side of the pitch and it is not
necessary to be on the opposite side to the benches.
If during the
match, referees decide to change side of the pitch, they will NEVER do
it when ball is in play.

24. Basic



The basic principle of positioning should be that the two
main referees maintain a position that keeps the ball between them at all times
using a good diagonal system and good running style.

25. Control of


During play
one referee should control the action area and the other the influence area,
with the aim of not having both referees looking at the ball at the same time
and with a good sharing of authority. Control of the goal line

It was noted
that it is important to have a good control of the goal line. Consequently, at
least one referee should always be paying attention to this.

26. Control of
players and substitutes


It´s a must
for the 3
rd referee, to notice the numbers of the
last players (into the pitch) at the end of the first half, or, if extra time
is going to be played, at the end of the match and end of the first period of
the extra time. That way, referees will control who is a player and who is a

27. Physical


Having a good
physical condition will help referees stay in control for the entire duration
of a match and be in the best possible position for making correct decisions.
This also gives referees credibility.


28. The
referees concluded that they should warm up on the field of play forty minutes
before kick-off. One minute before kick-off the first and second referees
should check the goals, whilst the third referee checks the number of people on
the benches, which according to the UEFA Futsal Regulations should be no more
than six officials and seven substitutes. The first and second referees should
also check the goals before commencing the second half of the match.


receiving technical instruction, studying incidents on video and taking part in
group and fieldwork, it was agreed that the aims of the course had been
achieved and that colleagues would benefit from the circulation of these notes
by UEFA.

UEFA / Referees
Committee / December 2011