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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34250

Law 11 - Offside 6/19/2021

RE: Competitive Adult

James D Young of AUSTIN, TX United States asks...

In the Euro 2021 game against Germany, Ronaldo was in an offside position when the pass was made to Jota, who controlled the ball and passed to Ronaldo for the the goal. Why is Ronaldo's initial offside position not considered in evaluating the legality of the goal?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi James,
It's because a player who is simply in an offside position has not committed an offence. They must be involved in active play at the time the ball was touched by a team mate, in order to be guilty of an offside offence. At the time of that earlier touch, Ronaldo was not involved in active play by either touching the ball or interfering with an opponent.

This particular situation is also specifically covered in the Laws document. In the "Guidelines for Match Officials" it gives the following example:

"An attacker (C) is in an offside position, not interfering with an opponent, when a team-mate (A) passes the ball to player (B1) in an onside position who runs towards the opponents’ goal and passes the ball (B2) to team-mate (C). Attacker (C) was in an onside position when the ball was passed, so cannot be penalised."

In this scenario, Ronaldo is attacker C.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi James,
the offside positional restrictions are reassessed at each new touch of the ball by a teammate. Ronaldo COULD NOT have accepted the pass meant for Jota, but once Jota received that pass Ronaldo's position in the FOP was changing with respect to the ball & opposing goal line itself so that he was onside when Jota released the ball over to him. When there is no 2nd last opponent the ball itself acts as the defining edge of offside positional restriction. Ronaldo was farther away from the goal line than the ball when Jota released (last touched it over)to him.

I recall a blue PIOP player was lollygagging about in the opposition PA having a chat with the keeper, clearly, 40 yds offside when a teammate ran onto a loose ball and came dribbling in on the keeper. This teammate carried the ball past (thus this new touch of the ball RESETS the lollygagging PIOP teammate to free play onside status), albeit this teammate was clearly reluctant to share in the opportunity. The keeper blocked the shot, the ball rebounds back out to the lollygagging but now former PIOP, and he scores. Even his teammates booed him but it was a legal goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi James
Law 11 tells us that it is not an offence to be in an offside position. So in Ronaldo’s case he would have to had done something more such as touching the ball or interfering with an opponent to be called offside. He did not do anything and as the ball went to Jota who was in an onside position play continued.

When Jota took the ball the offside positions were reset with his touch and and as Ronaldo was now in an onside position he was legally entitled to participate in active play which he did by scoring.

Many in the game do not like the extreme examples of players standing clearly in offside positions say avoiding being marked and then getting involved in a subsequent phase of play having moved to an onside position on the 2nd phase.
Case in point is the free kick with a player clearly stands offside and the ball is played away from that location to an onside player who plays the ball back to that player who is now onside. It is not offside

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Offside Question?

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

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