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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35357

Mechanics 2/21/2024

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


I would like to ask a question about APP concept of VAR.

Does any unimpeded touch by the defender reset the APP? For instance, team A attacks, the referee misses and offside by team A, one of the players of team A crosses the ball into team B’s penalty box, one of the players of team B scores an own goal although he/she has no opponents around. In this case, should VAR intervene for possible offside in the APP or does the unimpeded touch by the defender who scored an own goal resets the APP and therefore VAR cannot intervene for possible offside?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
The answer rests on whether there was offside or not in the build up. If there was an offside in the build up that will be called.
The unimpeded touch by the defender if it was a deliberate play will only reset offside after that touch. It does not rule out anything that happened before.

Clearly if there was a lot of time and play after a potential offside with perhaps deliberate plays by the defending team during that time it is unlikely that VAR would go back.

As to your example VAR will consider the offside in the build up to the goal and if there was offside it will get called.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Crebs
good to hear from you again,
Reset of offside restrictions is based on three things, ball out of play, opposition has the last touch of the ball that was not deemed a deliberate save, deflection or rebound (any deliberate action not affected by offside restricted challenges or presence resets for the opposition) or a new touch of the ball by an onside team mate where those restricted are no longer in an offside position.

Defenders actions or choices play NO Part in the oppositions' offside evaluations!

So if there WAS no offside PRIOR to the own goal, the defenders' deliberate action is fully on his own. When we refer to the lead up or build up of play VAR must pin point that a restricted player PLAYED a part earlier that led to the current situation within a relevant time frame.

The fact is players shifting back to defend and players moving forward at high speeds and acute angles can make it difficult to spot a marginal barely offside player who in the midst of say 5 or 6 passes was number 2 but his third pass to an onside teammate should not have been allowed the 4th and 5th sets up the shot for the 6th and a goal as it deflects off a defender is NOW under review because that 3rd release pass COULD NEVER have occurred if the INDFK out was correctly given when he received that earlier 2nd pass . Now take that same situation and off the deflection, the keeper saves and after recovering gets up punts it out to the mid field where it is challenged for, then won by the opposition who come down and then after 4 or 5 more passes scores off a defender mistake for an own goal. That will count as the earlier sequence would NOT be applied! It played NO Part and the opposition had complete ball control

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

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