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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34110

Law 11 - Offside 1/24/2021

RE: Sekect/Competitive Adult

Tony of WHITEHORSE, Yukon Canada asks...

During FA Cup MUFC v LFC, Rashford scored a goal in 2nd half. When the ball was played thru a LFC defender knicked the ball while trying to stop the thru ball. Would this touch have negated the offside.... if Rashford was in an offside position?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Tony,
Just to be clear we are hypothetical right? Rashford was NEVER offside positioned, touch or no touch by the Liverpool defender. It would be and always was a good goal.

So if we are to IMAGINE that when the long through-ball was struck by the teammate RASHFORD was in behind the Liverpool 2nd last defender, rather than say would I suggest we use: COULD, the attempt to play the ball by the Liverpool player negate the restriction of offside involvement?

IF the ball accidentally nicked his leg as he TRIED to play the ball, and that fact was -accepted- by the officials that is indeed a physical touch that MIGHT reset the oppositions offside restrictions (although it did appear our defender was deliberately trying to play the ball as it passed him by) the officials might also consider the ball flight and defender's inability to readjust as he was quite awkward with the resulting touch aka nick, ruled as an accidental (deflection) that would not reset offside & Rashford would be considered gaining an advantage so INDFK out...

Another KEY factor here could be where was the PIOP Rashford in context to that Liverpool defender when or if the touch occurred? You see interference with the opponent by a PIOP is not permitted and the officials would be obligated to determine if any of those criteria were present if they determined the touch as deliberate play?
Did the PIOP prevent an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision? or
Did the PIOP prevent an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly challenging an opponent for the ball? or
Did the PIOP prevent an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly attempting to play a ball that is close when this action impacts on an opponent? or
Did the PIOP prevent an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly making an obvious action that clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball?

The issue with hypotheticals from an armchair perspective we are not the CR or AR or VAR watching from the FOP and our thoughts might not match what they think.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tony
Good question.
I would opine that as the defender played the ball albeit poorly that would have been a reset.
Now there is a fine line between a deliberate play and a deflection.
Some advise the following
A defender goes to play the ball which is a deliberate action
The defender has time and choices.
The defender has control of his actions which is not an outcome of the action
There is distance and space between the pass and the defender playing the ball.

This video is deemed offside although personally I doubt it was
You might recall the Harry Kane incident in the Liverpool v Spurs game lasr season. It is somewhat of a similar situation in that Lovren misplays the ball which the officials interpret correctly as a reset.
We can take it from that interpretation at this level that officials see a miskick as a reset and therefore had Rashford been in an offside position the goal would have stood as he did nothing to interfere with the defender.

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Offside Question?

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

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