In a league tournament, the points and goals were equal between two teams. A playoff game was scheduled, but this ended in a draw. Kicks from the penalty mark were used to separate the teams, but it was in the dim light in the evening and the goal keeper was not able to see clearly, so the match was declared a draw.

What are the next steps to separate the teams?

  • They have lights in stadiums, so that's pry not a realistic event that's going to happen with FIFA rules.
    – New-To-IT
    Aug 11 '17 at 17:58
  • From the way the rule is read, they keep going until a goal is scored, so if for some reason the match has to end, they'd most likely pick it up the next day or another day. Keep going until someone wins
    – New-To-IT
    Aug 11 '17 at 18:02

The Laws of the Game specify that

If, after both teams have taken five kicks, the scores are level kicks continue until one team has scored a goal more than the other from the same number of kicks

There is no provision in the Laws for kicks from the penalty mark being abandoned due to poor light or any other reason, so by declaring the match a draw, the referee was in breach of the letter of the Laws of the Game - therefore you're not going to be able to get a definitive ruling on this. As with everything else like this involving exceptional circumstances, the answer is simple: the organising body for the competition makes a decision.


You state that the referee declared this match a draw, but this is not possible. Matches only proceed to extra time and kicks from the penalty mark if a draw is not an available outcome.

Law 10 - Determining the Outcome of a Match, Section 2 - Winning Team:

The team scoring the greater number of goals is the winner. If both teams score no goals or an equal number of goals the match is drawn.

When competition rules require a winning team after a drawn match or home-and-away tie, the only permitted procedures to determine the winning team are:

  • away goals rule
  • two equal periods of extra time not exceeding 15 minutes each
  • kicks from the penalty mark

So if the match wasn't drawn after 90 minutes, a draw is not a possible outcome here, and it appears that the referee has failed to apply the competition rules correctly. The competition administrator is likely to step in and declare the match abandoned instead.

Law 7 - The Duration of the Match, Section 5 - Abandoned Match states:

An abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules or organisers determine otherwise.

Depending upon the competition rules, there are many possible outcomes. Some of the common possibilities in competition rules that I've seen are:

  • If a result cannot be found on the day of the match, the title being played for is shared by the teams.
  • Lots are drawn / a coin is tossed to determine the winner.
  • Kicks from the penalty mark are resumed from where the match was abandoned on another day.
  • If there is no specific competition rule, there may be a general rule empowering the competition administrator to make any judgement about the result of a match in extraordinary circumstances such as this one.
  • Short of any competition rule, the match is replayed in full.

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