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Question Number: 29796

Law 11 - Offside 10/9/2015

RE: Intermediate Under 13

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29793

Just a follow-up on question 29793 regarding something referee Dennis Wickham said.

The 'clarification' said:
1. "Interfering with an opponent"
In addition to the situations already outlined in the Laws of the Game, a player in an offside position shall also be penalised if he:
clearly attempts to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an
opponent or
makes an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball

Although, it wouldn't apply in this case, I read the last point as a PIOP can interfer with an opponent, even if he/she is NOT close to the ball. For example, if the PIOP runs toward the ball & this slows down a defender, who might have gotten to the ball.

I just thought of something, though. What if a defender tried to slide tackle the ball away, misjudged the slide, & hit the PIOP, who was moving toward the ball. Would you play advantage for the mistimed tackle or would you call offside for interference?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Phil,
Yes a PIOP can interfere with an opponent while the ball is not near! Impeding, blocking the line of sight, or contact away from the ball to prevent that opponent from seeing or being able to get closer to challenge for the ball is interfering with an opponent.

If an opponent is slide tackling the PIOP to win the ball I 'd say the impact of the PIOP challenge is apparent . Offside interference occurs prior thus the contact is not a foul but misconduct and ignored if careless, cautionable show the yellow card if reckless and red card send off if excessive.

If the PIOP is simply running and the opponent comes over and runs into him away from the ball, that is a VC foul, not an offside interference. Award the free kick in favour of the PIOP, if advantage cannot be applied apply card colour as appropriate.

We judge the actions of the PIOP, what does he do that impacts play. A poor or bad decision of an opponent to run into him while the ball is not being challenged has not met offside criteria.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
The ball is not a requirement for interfering with an opponent. Your example of a PIOP slowing down a defender who is moving to the ball is interference. If the PIOP is involved in a challenge with a defender that is also interference and offside will be called. That though does not give the defender a free pass at a reckless challenge. Should that happen it is a caution yet as the offside offence happened first so the restart is still an IDFK for the offside.
BTW advantage is not possible on a foul challenge on offside as neither team can benefit from that. The attacking team is offside and the defending team has committed misconduct. Play must be stopped and the offences dealt with. Advantage could be played if the challenge was legal and the defending team would benefit from allowing play to continue rather than calling the offside. It would need though to be a very clear advantage in the last third for play to be allowed to continue. Perhaps if the goalkeeper picked the ball up and wanted to punt downfield to create a very promising attack then allowing play to continue would be advantageous.

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

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