In association football, the referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game during the course of a match. He or she is the final decision-making authority on all facts connected with play, and is the only official on the pitch with the authority to start and stop play and impose disciplinary action against players during a match as shown by the use of the penalty cards. At most levels of play the referee is assisted by two assistant referees (formerly known as linesmen), who are empowered to advise the referee in certain situations such as the ball leaving play or infringements of the Laws of the Game occurring out of the view of the referee; however, the assistant referees' decisions are not binding and the referee has authority to overrule an assistant referee. At higher levels of play the referee may also be assisted by a fourth official who supervises the teams' technical areas and assists the referee with administrative tasks.

2014 FIFA World Cup referees

Main article: 2014 FIFA World Cup officials
Laws of the Game (rules of association football)

Law 1: The Field of Play · Law 2: The Ball · Law 3: The Players · Law 4: The Players' Equipment · Law 5: The Referee · Law 6: The Other Match Officials · Law 7: The Duration of the Match · Law 8: The start and restart of play · Law 9: The Ball In and Out of Play · Law 10: Determining the outcome of the match · Law 11: Offside · Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct · Law 13: Free kicks (direct and indirect) · Law 14: The Penalty Kick · Law 15: The Throw-In · Law 16: The Goal Kick · Law 17: The Corner Kick

Comparisons
Football and Rugby Union · Football and Futsal IFAB
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