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Question Number: 32277

Law 11 - Offside 3/4/2018

RE: Rec Under 13

David Mason of Trowbridge , Wiltshire England asks...

Hi ATR team.

So, I was watching an English premier league game between Arsenal and Manchester City. A free kick about 40 yards out resulted in a defensive line jostling with an attacking line - the defensive line playing high to instigate a offside opportunity. Whilst watching the grappling that is usually associated with this, I observed, just as the whistle was blown, a defender push an attacker into an offside position. Now this action didnt result in anything because the incident wasnt close enough to where the ball was played to but my question is - if the pushed player should have contacted the ball and there was a resultant goal, and the incident was spotted by the ref but flagged for offside by th AR what is the decision? Yes the player was offside but as a direct action from the opposing player which could be deemed unsportsmanlike but the defender pushed the attacker there and and a goal was scored. This situation is unlikely I know but what are your thoughts? Regards David

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
Two important factors here to determine
1. Was the push before or after the ball was played
2. Did the player subsequently get involved in play to be called offside.
If the answer is yes to the second and the ball was in play then the push is penalised with a direct free kick or penalty as the foul happened first not the offside.
Now some will say that the foul should be called anyway and that is correct. However we know that match officials can be attracted to the drop zone of the ball and the offside line so the offence can be missed if it is not offside and in view by the officials. Add in the fact that there can be lots of shenanigans going on many times in such situations referees may only be attracted to significant foul play that is in their line of sight / area if focus.
In my game today I was trying to watch players around the goalkeeper and also players some 15 yards away plus keeping an eye on the ball and the drop zone. Some players complained about pushing and pulling and perhaps there could have been. I did not see any blatant foul yet maybe if videoed it could have been shown that there was in fact some undetected fouls.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI David,
key thing when seeing the event is the timing. If the push occurs AFTER The ball is in play during flight, that push is foul and if the opponent was not offside at the kick, his being pushed into what look offside means nothing. He is free to attack the ball .

Now if a push occurs PRIOR to the ball being kicked and the opponent is in fact a PIOP in behind the 2nd last opponent. That push is MISCONDUCT, not a foul and if the player receiving the ball was to be a PIOP best have the kick retaken and warn or card the defender .

It is not impossible to consider advantage in not calling something if there is a good outcome but remember a retake is not as advantageous as a foul or pk awarded further up for a 2nd offence.

You can not play advantage on an offside player UNLESS the opponent deliberately played the ball THEN offside restrictions reset.

You can ignore the push in either form as misconduct or as a foul but if it WAS trifling or doubtful it is not an easy sell to magically say hmmm maybe I was wrong and reverse play..

A referee with integrity calls what he sees. If he misses something for whatever reason be it his attention was elsewhere or hidden so be it. You get on with play!


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Offside Question?

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

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