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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000


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Question Number: 33985

Law 11 - Offside 9/12/2020

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

Hello,

one offside question, please.

Law says:

Part 1: A defending player who leaves the field of play without the referee’s
permission shall be considered to be on the goal line or touchline for the
purposes of offside until the next stoppage in play or until the defending team has played the ball towards the halfway line and it is outside its penalty area.

Part 2: An attacking player may step or stay off the field of play not to be involved in active play. If the player re-enters from the goal line and becomes involved in play before the next stoppage in play or the defending team has played the ball towards the halfway line and it is outside its penalty area, the player
shall be considered to be positioned on the goal line for the purposes of offside.

Questions to 1) and 2)
(defending player and attacking player):

Is this player's goal line/touchline position cancelled, when he re-enteres during this action? Or is he considered a player on the line, even if he is later meters away from that line? Is the difference when he is behind the line intentionally and not by accident?

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
First point is that it does make a difference if the exit is deliberate or accidental. Leaving play without the referee’s permision refers to a deliberate action rather than movements which are connecting with play.
If for example it is part of play with say a slide off then that does not require permission to return however if the player intentionally steps off the player as outlined in Law 11 he must wait for the ball to be cleared by the defending team before he can rejoin.
In the case of a defending player being off the field of play he must be placed on the goal line for offsude purposes until the ball is played away.
In respect of the attacking players position once the ball is still in the penalty area he is considered to be on the goal line if the ball is played to him or he gets involved immediately in active play. If the player manages to get onside after being off the field inadvertently then before any subsequent play he is free to participate in active play.
For what it is worth I have not seen deliberately leaving the FOP in recent times to place opponents in an offside position or attackers staying off to show no involvement as they know they can do that now on the field.



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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
In terms of an attacking player, the law has a specific provision, as follows:

"An attacking player may step or stay off the field of play not to be involved in active play. If the player re-enters from the goal line and becomes involved in play before the next stoppage in play or the defending team has played the ball towards the halfway line and it is outside its penalty area, the player shall be considered to be positioned on the goal line for the purposes of offside."

Now, for a defender there is no similar provision however if the defender had gone off the field accidentally or as a part of normal play, my feeling is that you could probably apply the same principle. If the defender has gone off the field deliberately (and without permission) though, things are different. In that case the defender coming back on would be at risk of getting either one or possibly two yellow cards for leaving and re-entering without the referee's permission.

I have to say I can't recall ever having seen a defender do this so I'd be surprised if the situation ever arose. If it did though, it would leave the referee with a decision to make.



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