Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 34038

Law 11 - Offside 10/26/2020

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Line of sight offside call ?

In the recent Arsenal v Leicester City EPL match, an offside call ruled out a goal, reportedly for PIOP impeding the keepers (line of sight).

Seemed harsh and I wonder if a different mechanic could have been used by the AR.

Certainly from the sideline position it would have looked very possible that there was a PIOP interfering with the keeper, however, I suggest that (having been in the exact same scenario some years ago in a Final) it would have been better for the AR to remain stationary (without a raised flag) so as to invite the CR to come have a chat.

Replays suggested that at the time of contact of the headed shot on goal, that the supposed PIOP had in fact moved away from the keeper, and the keeper had also moved away from the PIOP.

Not that this duel away movement mitigates the apparent issue, but the supposed PIOP had moved to a position that was further way from the ball then and to the side of the keeper (again, not totally a get out of jail factor), and (this could possibly provide a get of jail card) with a timing of movement that (I feel) had no effect on the keepers ability to make or attempt to make a save (successful or not).

Clearly, I think the call was wrong, however, right or wrong outcome aside, do you think (for the average weekend warrior official) there was enough reason to at least have the AR have a chat with the CR?

And, raising this to pro ranks, was there enough to have the AR suggest to the CR, to ask for a review?

At the very least, I see this more complex than the Man United v Chelsea Mcguire incident that was somehow overlooked, and the Ramos flop.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
The line of sight offside can sometimes be one of the most difficult calls to make, certainly from a side on view of an AR
In this case perhaps it was not for line of sight yet maybe for * making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball*
A player cannot stand in an offside position in front and close to the goalkeeper when the ball goes close to that player and not expect to run the high risk of offside. I am of the opinion that if he is not there in that position the goalkeeper makes a better attempt at the save from the header.
If I was the AR here and without VAR I would be flagging this as offside. In the PL the incident was checked by VAR and he confirmed the ARs offside flag as correct. The AR flagged immediately so it was his opinion that it was offside not a check by VAR after no offside call. If the AR was incorrect the goal could have been awarded.
A more difficult one was the disallowed goal in the Derby v Forest game. That is a line of sight one and that one is doubtful

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russel.
In my opinion,, no AR at ANY level should raise their flag unless 100% certain there is a NEED to do so. The stand at attention after a goal for the chat is certainly a reasonable action if there is a tainted smell about the result. It is difficult to assume what the AR VAR and CR are thinking given we do not form our opinion without repeated exposure and angles in varying slow motion settings. There is no doubt that BEING a PIOP in front of goal is problematic not only for the keeper but for the officials to arbitrarily decide if the offside criteria of involvement is met! Especially when there is NO physical touch of the ball , then forced to arrive at a decision to determine if the keeper was unfairly AFFFECTED by the actions of the PIOP or had his line of sight been unfairly compromised?

Acting as an AR I watched as the straight in moving PIOP had lunged at a diagonal ball headed to the left corner. The keeper certainly could see the incoming ball BUT that lunge could have sent that ball anywhere so the keeper froze midform thinking to react . The PIOP just missed getting to the ball but the keeper had delayed his reaction to it. and the the force of the ball placed it into the corner for a goal. I had raised my flag even as the ball was entering the goal because in MY opinion that lunging action by the PIOP attacker FORCED the keeper into waiting thus affected his reaction thus the PIOP interfered. I did not wait there stationary with my flag down to discuss it with my CR I was 100% SURE!
AS my colleague REf Mchugh mentions the criteria mentioned is * making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball* It will STILL be an opinion and at the recreational level we simply call what it is we saw. AS neutral officials all we can do is apply the same viewpoint at each end of the FOP.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 34038
Read other Q & A regarding Law 11 - Offside

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

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

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.