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Question Number: 32296

Law 11 - Offside 3/11/2018

RE: Adult

George of Heraklion, Greece asks...

Today there was a difficult decision to be made in a game for the first place in Greek championship game. I would like to hear a professional answer was it a goal or not;thanks a lot.
It's a short video of the game and the player in white and black stripes does not touch the ball

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
There are two ways for a PIOP to be called offside. One is interfering with play by touching the ball and the other is interfering with an opponent by preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by
# clearly obstructing the opponent's line of vision or  
# challenging an opponent for the ball or
# clearly attempting to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent or
# making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball
From the video we can see that the attacker was in an offside position and he tries to avoid the ball. By trying to avoid the ball we can opine that it is an obvious action which impacts on the defenders and perhaps the goalkeepers ability to play the ball. IMO given the close proximity of opponents to the PIOP it is offside. If the player was on totally his own and the ball goes through his legs then it is not.
Please remember that the match officials gets one go at this to determine what happened in real time. I do not believe VAR is yet used here? It is reported it will be used next season. In real time this will look like a PIOP who is so close to the opponents that he did in fact interfere. I believe that with VAR that the goal could be ruled offside.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi George ,

Lets be aware that as an OPINION both sides will have an argument. The AR indicated a good goal. He did not raise his flag he sprinted up the line to prepare for kick off. This decision is all on the CR even if the AR might later have reconsidered.

On a side note THIS is where FIFA/IFAB top dogs should immediately step out and clarify their reasoning as to explain yes or no to help alleviate the distress and explain to other referees what they look for.

The proximity of the PIOP to the ball & the keeper and the fact the nearest defender must play around him, PLUS the PIOP moved in towards the ball not away from it, is in MY opinion enough to be guilty of interfering with an opponent.

I still might have awarded the goal if only the keeper was involved as nothing the PIOP did in MY opinion created a problem for the keeper, as long as the PIOP did not accidently make contact with the ball. Yet you can understand how it looked as if the PIOP WAS in fact challenging for the ball initially.

The PIOP was ok to fall inside the goal to avoid the ball contact but given he partially was blocking a defenders' access and his body was so close to the keeper I can see this as offside, INDFK out.

As to deciding if we are professional we are only knowledgeable as to why this could be an INDFK out or a goal .

In MY opinion I am not satisfied this is a pure goal, if we remove the PIOP I think the defender or keeper could possibly get to the ball without hindrance and have a shot at saving it.

I do tend to think the keeper was always beaten. I do not have the solid faith of others that the presence of the PIOP affected his ability to see and get to the ball. I am more concerned he blocked the defender behind him from having a straight path to the ball ..

TO argue for the opposite result that it was a CLEAR goal one might point out it was more the keeper and the defender who came together which caused each to miss play the ball


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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi George,
It's an interesting one. As Ref McHugh points out, 'making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball' is probably the item of concern here.

There's another angle on - start at about the 2min mark.
There's an angle from behind. It looks like as the keeper is turning and starting to leap, that the attacker appears to be moving for the ball. I'd say that right there is enough to be affecting the keeper because it's going to affect how he commits to the ball. Also, given where the attacker is standing it's impossible for the keeper to make a full dive otherwise he'd collide with the attacker (and quite possibly get kicked in the head). So I think he has definitely prevented the keeper from playing the ball here and the goal should be disallowed.

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

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