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You Call It Q&A's - February 13, 2000

MrRef 2/13/2000

You Call It Q&A's - February 13, 2000
An attacking player "A1" is standing near the intersection of the penalty area line and the goal line. A defending player "D1" is standing between him and the goal line. The attacking player "A1" watches as his teammate "A2" skillfully dribbles the ball toward the goal. He and the defender see the attacking player "A2" looking to pass the ball forward. The defender steps off the field putting A1 in an offside position. The attacking player "A2" passess to player "A1" who puts the ball into the back of the net.

Answer submitted by Craig Nelsen of West Des Moines Iowa , USA

This situation is directly from "Advice to Referees..."; section 11.10. We do not call A1 for the offside violation but, allow play to continue and the goal stands. The defender D1 must be cautioned before the restart for leaving the pitch without permission.

Answer submitted by Herb bresler of Bexley Ohio, USA

Goal! Yellow card to player "D1" for unsporting behavior. Kick-off to restart. This situation is described clearly in the "ADVICE TO REFEREES ON THE LAWS OF THE GAME" from USSF: It states, "11.10 PUTTING AN OPPONENT IN AN OFFSIDE POSITION UNFAIRLY If a defending player moves beyond his own goal line or across a touch line to place an opponent in an offside position, the referee should not stop play immediately to caution the defending player, but should allow play to continue. The attacker should not be punished for the position in which he has been unfairly placed; however, the referee should caution the defending player for unsporting behavior at the next stoppage of play."

Answer submitted by James Brady of Brisbane Queensland, Australia

I would award the goal to the attcking team and caution the defender who stepped off the field. I would do this because the defending player stepped off the field to create an offence, which means that he left the field of play without the referees' permission. (See law 12 Caution and Send Off offences) I must stress, however, that you do NOT caution a player who steps off the field to prevent himself from comitting an offense. (ie. Offside, that means he isn't on the field and getting involved in the play.)

So, at this point, the defender is off the field, and the attacker is now offside. However, the Defender has committed an offense by leaving the field of play to create an offense, and therefore is off the field of play without the refree's permission. Do not stop play here, as there is an advantage to the attacking team, so allow the play to continue and therefore the goal is scored.

Allow the goal (Which means that play is stopped) and caution the defender that stepped off the field. Then you restart the game with a kick off.

A Note From The Ref

Referring to the question it states that the attacking player was near the goal line so the fact that a defending player left the field may not in itself be an infringement of the law. He may be legitimately contesting for an advantageous position and I would not caution a player for leaving the field in such a situation.

The question also states that D1 was on the field between the goal line and the attacker A1. So there is no reason for D1 to "accidentally" step off the field.

Both the attacking player and the defender observe that player A2 is going to pass. The defending player purposefully took himself off the field to place the attacker in an offside position. The attacker should not be penalised by being in a position he has been unfairly placed (1998 ATR). The defenders action is considered unsporting behavior and should be dealt with at the next stoppage in play.

For this case the next stoppage in play is after A1 scores a goal by putting it in the back of the net. "I would be so astounded that 'A1' could put the ball in the back of the net from that position, that it would take a moment for me to realize that I'm supposed to blow the whistle." (A Quote from Mr. Jim Lavigne) I would have to agree!

Actions taken:

1. Allow play to continue.
2. Award the goal.
3. Caution D1 for Misconduct
4. Restart with a kick off

References: FIFA Law 11,FIFA Law 12, FIFA Q&A LOTG, 1998 USSF Advice to Referees (ATR)

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