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Question Number: 31542

Law 5 - The Referee 5/17/2017

Andrew of Columbus, OH USA asks...

Here's a hypothetical game situation that I don't know how to handle: An attacking player in an offside position receives the ball from a teammate. The AR signals for offside. However, the referee does not see the signal right away and play continues. The attacking player shoots, and a defending player (not the goalkeeper) on the goal line deliberately handles the ball to prevent it from going in the goal. After this, the referee sees the offside signal and awards an indirect free kick at the spot of the offside offense.

Since the continuation of the play officially did not happen, the handling cannot be a foul. However, can the deliberate handling after the offside offense occurred be considered misconduct? If so, would it be a caution for unsporting conduct or a sending off for attempting to commit a DOGSO offense?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Andrew,
if you rethink your question you have all the answers in it.
The Offside occurs first! Flag recognized albeit late
Thus which team cannot score a goal?
The team with the infraction (the attackers)
How can a goal be denied them if they aren't permitted to score?
It can at worst be a USB caution & show yellow card for the defender but only if the act was reckless or VC are we seriously considering card then again just an INDFK and a warning would work fine! !

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andrew
The offside offence happened first and as play has been brought back to that offence then nothing has been denied as a goal cannot be scored by the attacking team.
Now the only exception to no disciplinary sanction would be in the case of misconduct, serious foul play or violent conduct. If a defending player say violently kicked an opponent after the offside offence flag that was not seen then the restart would still be an IDFK for offside after the defender is dismissed for VC.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Andrew,
As my colleagues have said, there can be no question of DOGSO here because there was no chance to score a goal once the earlier offside offence had occurred. And while I think there could a case to be made in a very technical sense for unsporting behaviour I think it would be rather harsh to caution for a theoretical (but not actual) attempt to stop a goal that would never have occurred if not for the earlier miscommunication by the officials.

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Offside Question?

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

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