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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34357

Law 11 - Offside 9/27/2021

RE: Other

Vasilis of Derby, Derbyshire UK asks...

Hello! I would really like to know if you consider this to be offside or not. The player runs towards the ball after it's headed by his teammate and jumps with his legs open, seemingly attempting to backheel the ball to the net, which he fails to do so. First the referee counts the goal but then after discussing it with the linesman he calls it offside.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Vasilis
In 1971 there was a offside decision which caused a great furore at the time
The AR flagged for offside because of the position of a West Brom attacker. The referee Ray Tinkler waved the flag down and play continued with a goal scored. It is still talked about today yet the same incident 50 years on is not even close to an offside offence. It wasn't then and it certainly is not now.

I wonder if this PAOK one will still be doing the rounds 50 years later? When it happened it resulted in very serious outcomes for the club and its owner who came out on the pitch. The game was abandoned and the owner got a three year ban with a significant fine. There is no point in revisiting it.

Law 11 has been updated since then plus we have VAR for these very situations and this is my current opinion if it happened TODAY.
What is certain is that the attacker in question is in an offside position.
The second part is whether the attacker is interfering with an opponent and that is a judgement call.

Now Law 11 tells us that there are four ways that a player in an offside position can interfere with an opponent. They are
1. Preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or
2. Challenging an opponent for the ball or
3. Clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent or
4. Making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball.
We can rule out straight away 1, 2 and also perhaps 3 as I don’t think he attempts to play the ball and so we are left with 4.
So the question is did the PIOP’s effort close to the ball impact on the goalkeeper or the closest defender ability to play the ball? What would have happened if the PIOP was not there?
It can be opined that it did impact so offside would be the correct call.

Here is a video showing two other potential offside situations.
The first one is offside as the attacker influences the goalkeeper in not moving quicker to his left to close down the scorer whereas the second one the defender is not impacted by the PIOP.
Here is another interfering with an opponent video

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Vasilis,
Offering an opinion on offside has similar condtradictions much like an opinion on a delberate handling foul.. There are these diffcult decisions and interpretations as to whether the criteria the LOTG ASK us to follow or consider with offside , just as in deliberate handling, there are always marginall calls, often based on angle of view, that LOOK clear to some yet fuzzy to others.

You could be correct he might have been trying to play tha ball, but, he did not make physical contact with the ball THUS no interfering with play.

The next question is did he interfere with an opponent?
My colleague Referee McHugh listed the considerations. He discounted 3 and wondered about 4. Would you do the same? Ask yourself this very question, IF that attacker was REMOVED from the picture, erased from memory do you think that goal would have occurred? Do you belive that headed redirection was savable by the keeper or that defender close by? Your Match, Your Decision, Your Reputation, awaits you!

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Offside Question?

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

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