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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33895

Law 11 - Offside 2/21/2020

RE: Adult

Kyriakos of Limassol, Cyprus asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33893

First of all thanks for replying.
According to the law you sent:

could the ref consider that the defender was trying to prevent a goal, as the ball was headed towards the net, which is the 3rd bullet in the additional guidelines?
In that case I understand that is NOT a deliberate play, hence it is offside.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Kyriakos
Yes there is a possibility that it could be considered a save and that is a judgement call as well.
Personally I believe it was a cross and that the ball was not directed towards goal so for me it would not meet the *save* criteria.
In fact the header helps it towards goal and without the final touch by the scorer the ball would have gone well wide
IFAB defines a *save* as when **a player stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless the goalkeeper within the penalty area). **
It is my opinion that the ball was not going into or close to the goal and that it was an attempt to stop a cross. The manner of the play by the kicker has all the hallmarks of a cross not a kick that was directed at goal that required a save.
That opinion is based on video review and multiple views. In a game situation the AR could have considered it either a deflection or a save.
I recall a few seasons ago as a lone official calling an offside off a deflection by a defender close to half way. There was little doubt about the clear offside position of the forward yet there was doubt over the contact by the defender. I gave the offside and there was not much debate about it.
When i reviewed it in my head after the game my thoughts were that it was more of a deliberate play than a deflection.
The only certainty of the play in your question was the offside position of the forward and had the player stayed onside the question would not have arisen. It was given for the offside position and depending on what side one is on it is either a mistake or a correct call based on the opinion on the contact by the defender.

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Offside Question?

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

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