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Question Number: 31771

Law 11 - Offside 9/9/2017

RE: Recreational Adult

Peter Butts of Preston, UK asks...

In the game Man City v Liverpool 9 Sept 17 Aguero made a forward pass to Jesus for his second goal with no opposition players in front apart from the goalkeeper. - why was this not offside??

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
Direction of the pass is irrelevant in considering offside. The pass can be in any direction including backwards. Position of the players is what counts.
The decision here rests on the position of Jesus of Man City at the moment the ball was played by Aguero.
If Jesus was level or behind the ball at the moment of the pass then there cannot be any offside as he is an onside position. At speed and in real time this will look tight for the AR but he makes the call based on the moment of the touch by Aguero not the direction of the ball which was forward.
I have looked at it a few times and I cannot see a clear offside as Jesus in my opinion stays level with the ball until the moment it is passed forward.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Peter, there are several things to consider to start the 2nd last opponent and the BALL when we determine offside position.
The timing of evaluation is that critical LAST Touch of the ball by the team mate.
Given there was no 2nd last opponent then the ball become that imaginary straight line you see super imposed on the field when they slow motion everything to check if the AR got it right or wrong. .

As my colleague Ref McHugh aptly points out, direction of a pass has no real bearing it is the teammate position at that last touch moment when the ball leaves the passers foot or body. . As long as the team mate is further away from the opposing goal line then the ball he is free to chase after it in ANY direction as he is NOT restricted as he is NOT offside positioned at the critical evaluation moment.

Keep in mind that the ball and players from both teams are always moving AFTER the evaluation into different field positions. THOSE positions do not matter UNTIL a NEW team mate touch occurs!
In cases of an AR determining if a player is even with the ball. In real time it can look very close and uncertain. In terms of offside we are instructed WHEN IN DOUBT DO NOT WAVE IT ABOUT!' referring to the flag of course as MOST often there is no offside. Occasionally you will get a playable body part slightly closer once we freeze frame a certain situation but in the scheme of things it really is a wise decision to keep the flag down.


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Offside Question?

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

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