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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33923

Law 11 - Offside 3/15/2020

RE: Competitive Adult

Peter Babbage of Hjorring, Denmark asks...

Thank you for your replies to my recent question. If I may, Id like your views if I were to expand on it. So back to the Manchester Derby. Hypothetically, the ball is played through to Aguero, Cann raises his flag and Dean blows the whistle. De Gea stops, Aguero carries on and puts the ball into the net. Unlikely but Aguero gets a caution.Now in those halcyon days pre VAR, its debated in the studio and if it was shown he was onside, depending on your allegiance, you were robbed or got away with one and we all move on. Now with VAR when controversy is eliminated LOL, as Dean has blown the whistle and play is ended in that phase, can VAR now inform him the goal should stand? Indeed would VAR intervene at all? Was it a clear and obvious error ( one of my arguments about these toenail offsides but thats another debate!).

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Peter,
The whistle STOPS play. If the ball is NOT already under the crossbar between the posts over the goal line BEFORE that whistle then NO goal is possible, even if it was likely nothing affected the resulting play after the whistle. Once the whistle goes it is the CLEAR definition by the referee he is stopping ALL active play. Now once play is stopped, if the attacker was upset and got onto a disagreement with the AR or referee that it was a good goal as misconduct for dissent a yellow card caution could be shown despite the fact the VAR might show the officials were wrong to have stopped the play for offside . You can not fix everything you can only try to make as few mistakes as possible!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
Had Referee Mike Dean blown the whistle and it was shown that Aguero was in fact onside the goal would have to be ruled out.
VAR will not get involved in instances where offside has been given and it is incorrect.
In the case of a card it will probably be for dissent or delaying the restart kf play. Neither of those instances would be an error or misapplication of the Law so the card would stand.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Peter,
In terms of the goal, the outcome is the same as it would have been without VAR. Once the whistle goes, that means play was already stopped before the ball crossed the line and that decision cannot be reversed. VAR makes no difference in this instance.

As for the yellow card, in a game with VAR it could not be reviewed one way or the other. Even if the goal itself were subject to review (it isn't) the only yellow cards that can be reviewed are for mistaken identity or if a yellow card was given for a DOGSO or SPA offence that happens after a VAR review shows play should have been stopped for an earlier reviewable incident.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Peter,
VAR changes much less in the game than people realise. Most of the nightmare scenarios people come up with can - and do - happen without VAR and often the process is the same at parks level with ARs only.
The exact same scenario you've described has certainly happened at parks level.
We've all had an AR who has raised the flag too soon then dropped it - and I have seen the whistle go a moment before the ball goes into the net while the AR is frantically trying to communicate that the flag was in error. Heck, I think I've even been that AR in my earlier years!
Once the whistle has blown, play stops. Neither the VAR, AR nor the referee has the power to decide to award a goal for a ball that crosses the line after the whistle is blown. The ball is out of play - and the ball must be in play for a goal to be scored. So, nothing can happen.
Incidentally, there wouldn't even be the option for the VAR to review it - as the ball was declared out of play, it wouldn't be considered a 'goal' scenario (one of the criteria for VAR review).

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