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Question Number: 21113

Law 11 - Offside 4/9/2009

RE: Rec & Select Under 16

Peter Grove of Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire England asks...

This question is a follow up to question 21066

This is not actually a question, but an answer. The IFAB, who promulgate the Laws of the Game (not FIFA) have indeed agreed a change to the wording of Law 11. Although to be accurate, it is not so much a change as a clarification on a particular aspect. The decision to alter the wording was taken at the Annual General Meeting of the IFAB held in Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland on February 28, 2009.

A press release on FIFA's website on that day reads as follows:

Regarding Law 11 (Offside), the wording of the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines has been amended to clarify the situation where a defending player leaves the field of play placing an attacking player in an offside position. The new wording reads as follows: "Any defending player leaving the field of play for any reason without the referees permission shall be considered to be on his goal line or touchline for the purposes of offside until the next stoppage of play."

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

That has been the case as long as I've been a referee. They published this clarification because of the Italy v. Netherlands situation in the UEFA cup last year.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

This is nothing new. It is just a reaffirmation of something everyone should already know. It's been this way for at least as long as I've been refereeing. IFAB felt the need to reiterate this long held rule because of all the misinformation promulgated by announcers and sportswriters after the Italy v Netherlands UEFA Cup game last year. The referee crew acted properly but were unjustly hammered by the media who hadn't a clue as to what the Laws actually said.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Clarification nothing new!
There are times when circumstances are set in motion where sufficient time and realization can occur for a player to drag themselves off and be discounted by the referee! However, a referee cannot always make the assumption those off are in fact seriously injured!
The only consideration a team that scores as a result of an opponent off without the permission of the referee who by unfortunate circumstances was ACTUALLY incapacitated/as in seriously hurt. Fair Play could be a CHOICE by the team that scored to allow their counterparts to score an undefended goal at the resulting kick off. Seen this four times at the elite level, a legal goal by law that leaves a bad taste, the team then chooses to do an honourable thing to make it right!

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Offside Question?

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

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