Can Referees Eat or Drink During Soccer Match ?

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A regular soccer match lasts for 90 minutes, in some cases, the match can proceed in extra time which means that it will last additional 30 minutes. There are two halves in each game, after the first 45 minutes, there is a 15 minute break.


Referees tend to use that break for a short snack or to refresh themselves with a drink. However, while the match is underway, the referees are not allowed to take breaks on their own in order to eat or drink. In worst case scenarios, if a referee is unable to continue for some reason, there is always a fourth official who is ready to take over. This has happened dozens of time with referees getting cramps or other kinds of injuries during a soccer match.

Eating or drinking during a match has never been a big issue considering there is always a halftime break. Referees also tend to refresh themselves when there is an unforced break such as an injury of a player, technical malfunction, etc. Referees are integral part of the game, their security and needs are always met by the Soccer Federation which means that if the referees requested to be allowed to have a special break for a snack, I’m sure that the Soccer Federation would take the proposition very seriously.

Being a referee is no easy task, having over 50k people questioning your call, both teams always pressuring you into giving a certain decision in their favor…keeping a calm head and focusing on making the right decision is what makes a referee world class. Sometimes, matches are of such high risk that the referee’s lives have been threatened due to a bad decision which many time can be a decisive factor.

FIFA has a referee rule book available for all of us to read. In many cases, when a decision is uncertain, the referee is given the responsibility to make the decision. That is the reason why we have witnessed many times some referees opting to give a penalty in cases where others would chose not to. It’s very important to remember that they are after all human which means they are susceptible to mistake like each of us.


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