Improper alignment

Misalignment is when a player enters the match in an impermissible situation. The most common causes of misconduct are for the following reasons:

  • Not having the regulatory permits to be able to participate.
    Exceeding the established limit of foreign players.
  • Participate in the field despite being sanctioned.
  • To have fewer professional players than the number of players decreed by regulations.

In this regard, article 76 of the Spanish football regulations (RFEF) establishes that, if the requirements for participation are not met, the match will be forfeited. This means that the opposing team would be the winner by three goals to nil, or, if there is one, by a higher score. If it is a knockout, the balance would be in favour of the opponent.

But it doesn’t end there, as misalignment can be costly for the club, with fines of 6,001 to 9,000 euros for professional teams and 3,001 to 6,000 euros for teams in the second division.

Similarly, third division teams could face fines of up to 3,000 euros and for the National Amateur and Women’s Football League up to 1,000 euros. To this is added the suspension of the persons involved in the misalignment for periods of up to six months.

What are the most common forms of misalignment?

  • The most common national forms of this offence are as follows:
  1. The player is sanctioned by a club, as happened with the Russian Cheryshev at Real Madrid, because of his previous yellow card suspension at Villareal.
  2. In this case for having a greater number of foreigners in the squad. As happened to Valencia in the 2001 Cup match, four players were suspended, including Dennis Serban.
  3. Having fewer professional footballers than the rules require. The regulations require at least seven professional players on the same pitch. Recently, in 2020, Granada finished their match against Real Sociedad 2-0. They lost with improper alignment because they had only four professional players on the pitch.
  • The number of players was changed due to the coronavirus, with only 5 first division players being allowed to participate.



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