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Question Number: 32060

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/27/2017

RE: Adult

Marwaan of Cape town, Western cape South Africa asks...

Defender handles ball on goal line, ref blows for spot kick. AR Does moves in position for spot kick then calls ref over to say he made mistake, that a player was offside before ball was handled. Can ref reverse and allow offside or continue with spot kick

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Marwaan
Yes the referee can change any decision on the advise of an assistant or 4th official provided play has not restarted.
So in this case the referee would be entitled to change his decision from a penalty kick to an indirect feee kick for offside based on the advice from the assistant. He could also chose to ignore it if he decided that the assistant was unsure or thought that a player in an offside position interfered which may not have happened.
All it points to is poor mechanics between the match officials. The assistant should not have moved into the penalty kick position if he was unsure of his decision. It does no *sell* the decision very well as it will look like an afterthought by the assistant.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Marwaan,
The referee can change a decision as long as play hasn't restarted. That means, as long as the penalty kick hasn't been taken the decision can be changed.
In this instance, the offside should only stand if the player in the offside position was, in fact, actively involved in play before the deliberate handling offence. If the attacker isn't actively involved in play by interfering with play or an opponent, then he hasn't committed an offence.
The AR has done the right thing in advising the referee here - although the refereeing team should improve their teamwork to make sure this doesn't happen to start with.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Marwan,
Yes, the referee can change a decision on the advice of another match official provided play has not restarted. However in this particular scenario, as my colleagues have mentioned it could have been better handled by the officials conferring before moving into position for the penalty kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Marwaan,
a referee can change his mind based on neutral information if he does so before the initial restart occurs.

If the AR is indeed successful at persuading the CR there was an INVOLVED PIOP prior to this defenders' deliberate handling we can restart with the INDFK out!

Good eye contact and some subtle signals could be used to glean this information early on but the most important aspect would be to get the call correct.

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Offside Question?

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

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