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Question Number: 31123

Law 11 - Offside 12/22/2016

RE: Intermediate Under 14

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

I have an offside question. In the Barcelona vs Hercules game on 12/21, here is a link to the 5th goal:

It seems to me that Barcelona is in an offside position. However, it looks like Hercules made a deliberate play by trying to block the pass. Would you have considered this a deliberate save?

Thanks for your advice,

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
This is not a deliberate play in my opinion. It is a deflection and it should have been ruled offside from what we see on the video. I suspect that in real time with multiple players present and quick movement it may have looked like the scorer was in an onside position so the flag was not raised. For me it is one if the most difficult calls for AR to judge with multiple defenders and players between the PIOP and the position of the ball. An outstretched leg can play a player onside in such tight situations.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Phil,
We can not know WHY the goal was good if we doubt the reasoning of a deliberate action. Of course they AR could be blocked from identifying the offside player and thus not award the INDFK out but if he saw the attempt as a deliberate play he is correct in allowing the goal!
It is not a deliberate save in the ball was not shot at or directed towards the goal. It was intended as a pass and there WAS a deliberate attempt to intercept that pass so if it was determined as so, in the opinion of the officials they are fully justified in choosing to allow the goal whether we might not, declaring it in our opinion, as a deflection.
I do find it difficult to justify the attempt to block as not a deliberate action but it is also an instinctive reaction by a defender to make such an attempt which creates the conundrum is it a reset based on the action or a deflection based on the result? I have asked for guidance from my contacts on the IFAB and FIFA referee list as to their opinion but it does appear one could make a case THIS video COULD be used as an example to clarify the IFAB/FIFA position as to the difference. I have sent an email to the Spanish league and asked for our request to be forwarded to the referee and ARs in charge as to their own view of the incident. FIFA for WHATEVER reason are loath to comment on such decisions as if it is a judgment, but in realty, such clarifications would serve us better to make informed decisions!
I see it as a deflection but can grasp why another might see it as a deliberate play for all the good that does.
Cheers and Merry Christmas

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi Phil,
well we pursued this video until we received adequate explanation by those whose responsibility is teaching the FIFA referees the LOTG.
AS our panel referees Richard and Joe alluded to this decision ,they were correct!
This was an offside via gaining an advantage via a deflection 100% .
The Match officials were unaware the player who scored was offside positioned. IN the post game review they were upset at missing this call.

From our pitch to your pitch in the spirit of fair play

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Offside Question?

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

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