The Professional Referees Organization, PRO, has responded on the sudden stopping of the match between Oklahoma City Energy FC and Arizona United last Thursday.
Alan Brown, Travel & Assignment Coordinator for PRO, said in an email Monday “If the official has stopped the game before the reported amount of stoppage time, he will receive some operational advice through our assessment scheme.”
Brown said based upon the Laws of the Game, the referee acts as the timekeeper of the game. This is completely at the discretion of the referee.
Leland Grant, serving as the referee for the contest, blew the final whistle in the 93rd minute of action signaling the end of the match. There was immediate confusion as to why the match was over after three minutes of stoppage time. Players from both teams rushed Grant demanding an answer before an Oklahoma City police officer escorted Grant and the other officials to their locker room.
Energy FC coach Jimmy Nielsen said he was under the impression that seven minutes would be added. United Soccer League’s President Tim Holt said they believed five minutes was the official call and also said the league, which doesn’t hire or assign officials, is letting PRO handle the incident.
Energy FC travels to Harrisburg, Pa. on Wednesday to take on the City Islanders at 6:30 p.m. and returns home following a Saturday contest with the Dayton Dutch Lions.