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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33893

Law 11 - Offside 2/20/2020

RE: Pro Adult

Kyriakos of Limassol, Limassol Cyprus asks...

Hello to everyone,
in the following link starting at 6:02 is a goal disallowed at the beginning as offside. The referee took the decision to ignore his assistant and count the goal but after a long discussion they decided to call it offside. I think it is clearly offside. What do you think? Thank you in advance.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Kiriakos,
When a defender deliberately plays the ball, this resets offside. It doesn't have to be a controlled play - and unfortunately this can penalise defenders a bit for trying to reach a ball and not quite getting enough of a touch to control it, but that's the law.
The defender has jumped to head the ball, so he has definitely played the ball here. That nullifies the offside. Personally I don't agree with the law, but that's how it is.
So while the attacker was clearly in an offside position when the kick was made, the defender's (uncontrolled) play cancels this.

I think the AR has done the right thing in alerting the referee to the possible offside offence - but raising the flag perhaps wasn't the best way to do it here.

I have no doubt that a goal should have been awarded here.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Kyriakos
What we can be sure of was that the scorer was in an offside position at the moment of the cross.
There is contact on the ball by a defender on the cross and in my opinion that was sufficient for a reset of offside as the ball was deliberately played albeit poorly.
The questions I would pose are
1. Did the referee and AR see the touch. I believe the referee did which is the reason for the debate
2. Did they consider the touch to be a deflection?
If it was considered a deflection it was offside, which is the conclusion the officials came to. If not then the goal should have stood
From my perspective as I said I believe the contact was a deliberate play not a deflection and therefore a reset.
Have a look at this advice from UEFA
There is more green than red interpretation in the play hence my opinion. Yet it is opinion based as you can see from the advice.
For completeness the AR in my opinion if he was unsure of the offside due to the contact by the defender (assuming he saw it) should not have raised the flag yet stood there rather than signaling a goal. That would have alerted the referee that all was not well with the play. The referee would then have came across, discussed the reason why the AR was not signaling for the goal and agreed the decision. If it was agreed that offside was the call then the flag goes up. If not the AR goes up the touchline to prepare for the kick off
In this case both were miked up so the visual signals were not as important to the referee crew yet important to the players etc. Always a bigger decision when there is a flag to overrule it.

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Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

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