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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33798

Law 11 - Offside 12/9/2019

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


I have three offside scenarios please.

1) Player in offside position plays ball with his hand. IDFK or DFK for opponent?

2) Player in offside position fouls opponent. IDFK or DFK for opponent?

3) Player in offside position is fouled. IDFK for opponent or DFK for this player?

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr ,
You generally punish the more severe infraction if two occur simultaneously
(1) is a DFK for the handling
(2) is a DFK for the foul and yellow or red card possible
(3) This will depend if the INDFK of interference for offside has occurred PRIOR to the foul On your first question the handling was the actual interference in play, here we do not know if the offside player was involved in actual play or interfered with an opponent . Since it is not an infraction to be in an offside position, the DFK foul in favor of the attacker is probably the right action, possibility of cards to be shown as well . If the attacker was interfering ahead of that potential foul then INDFK out for offside BUT the defender could STILL be liable for misconduct and be cautioned or sent off depending on the physicality of the challenge.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
1. The more serious offence of deliberate handling is punished
2. Again the more serious offence of the foul is punished which could also result in a card
3. It is not an offence to be in an offside position so if the PIOP is not interfering with play or an opponent it is a direct free to the attacking team.
There could also be a situation where there could be offside called yet the manner of the foul by the defender could be sanctioned with a card for the defender.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
It is not an offence simply to be in an offside position, however I assume you are positing that 1) the handling and 2) the foul constitute an involvement in active play thereby triggering an offside offence. In this case we have simultaneous offences so we punish the more serious ones, which are respectively the handling and the foul. Both the restarts would be direct free kicks.

The answer to the third scenario (and based on your description that indicates an offside position but no offside offence) can be found by extracting some of the wording from Law 11 which says that if, ''a player in an offside position [...] is fouled before playing or attempting to play the ball, or challenging an opponent for the ball, the foul is penalised as it has occurred before the offside offence''

Implicit in that wording of course, is that if the player in an offside position plays or attempts to play the ball, or challenges an opponent for the ball before being challenged, the offside offence would be punished as it occurred first. As ref McHugh says, depending on the nature of the challenge, it could still be sanctioned as misconduct.

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