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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34244

Law 11 - Offside 6/13/2021

Petr of Prague, Prague Czech Republic asks...


what do you think about this controversial situation?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
Yes this situation sparked a lot of debate.
In my opinion it could not be offside as the Italian player received the ball DIRECTLY from a corner kick.
For what its worth the 2nd Italian player should not have been allowed stand off the field of play some three yards from the corner kick if he was not involved in taking the kick. Perhaps that positioning distracted the AR into offside thinking mode and he simply forgot that the ball was played directly to that player.
I did notice ARs speaking to Italian players at these corner kicks and I’m not sure if it was to speed up play or about positioning?

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,
if that WAS a flag raised for offside because the player was outside into touch that AR is not going to get too many high-level matches for a while. as (a) he is considered to on the goal line and most importantly you CAN NOT be guilty of an offside infraction on the 1st initial direct kick back into play? Either a brain fart or something no one else saw occurred! lol

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
It does seem that the AR got this one wrong. I actually suspect that he was thinking of the situation that quite often occurs at a short corner where a player (standing on the pitch, usually) receives the ball from the corner taker, stops it with their foot and the corner kicker, who was still standing on the end line when their team mate touched the ball, then runs back from an offside position to play the ball.

That's not what happened here though, so as my colleagues have said, it's simply an error.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Petr,
This one makes no sense - occasionally officials just have a brain fart maybe this was it?
Having said that, I also hold the ref responsible here - he knows that offside is not possible so should have overruled the AR.
I don't have any issue with the player standing just off the field - it's clear he's part of play and isn't trying to pretend he's out of play, and he's only slightly off, so that's fine.
The additionally confusing part is why the AR waited so long to raise the flag - if he thought it was offside, why wait until after the player he thought offended passed the ball back?

We can clearly see the AR lowered the flag to point to the 'near' section of the field, so we know that offside is what he signalled.

I'm putting this one down to human error.

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Offside Question?

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

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