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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33436

Law 13 - Free Kicks 6/11/2019

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Is this a indication of the future regarding set piece play?

In the Spain v South Africa Women's WC match, Spain had a DFK where they set a 'wall' players in front of the Sth A 'wall' (that had more then three players) a notable distance away from the SA 'wall'.
And, they all (but one) moved away just prior to the kick.

Also, would have been interested to see the ruling on a goal IF one was scored by SA around the 56 min mark of the actual match - where a SA player was off the field of play via natural movement, then came back on to challenge for the ball. Looked to be a 'line-ball' moment as to whether the SA player was onside not, as the far side AR was maybe just a little 'up-field' at the moment of last contact by the SA player in the middle of the goal area before the returning SA play challenged for the ball.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Russell,

Thanks for including the link to these - it helps a lot.

This is an unusual free kick tactic. No issue with it though - not even under the new laws where attackers have to be a set distance from the wall (as long as they maintain that distance, of course).

As for the 2nd part of your post - I thought there were 2 defenders still on the goal line here, making them level with the attacker (off the field counts as on the line), so no offside. If one of the defenders had moved off the line, then they become the 2nd last line of defence and there would be an offside offence.

I agree that the AR was out of position - they moved up a yard or two just a bit early. It's important to be patient and wait. Being out of position, that AR would, I'd imagine, have little chance of being able to judge offside position, especially if it came down to whether the defender in the goal was on the line or not.

i thought the penalty in that video was a clear decision though!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
On the first question as the attackers were 1 metre from the defensive wall there was no offence. In fact this is what IFAB is trying to achieve in that there should be no contact between defenders and attackers in a defensive wall.
On the offside question it looks to me that the feet of two defenders were on the goal line which makes the goal line the offside line. It makes no difference how far the attacker is off the field of play as the attacker is placed on the goal line for offside consideration. So for me not offside.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russel
as I previously suggested the attacking teams will tactically set mini walls at 9 yards forcing the ten yards to be complied with given there is to be a yard clearance. That is what happens when the LOTG change, the coaches, managers and players rethink strategy & tactics. I expect them to set up ahead and then try to sneak a quick kick in the confusion at some point IF the referee has not yet stated wait for the whistle.

The goal line contact puts them on the goal line, no offside AR was out of position
Another terrible decision on the handling, a free goal out of nothing once again, these should be INDFK at best and not sure how the SA player after clearing the ball & falling back and away is responsible for the foot in the Spain player coming forward but it looks painful. Cheers

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