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Question Number: 32335

Law 11 - Offside 3/25/2018

RE: Competetive Under 16

Jim of HILLSBOROUGH, NJ US asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32332

Thank you all for your responses, Peter, Jason, Richard & Joe. They were helpful.

-Joe- On the Tiote goal disallowed you could make the argument that the PIOP hindered/affected the goalie's play on the ball. Had he not been there he would have dove with no second thought. But with the PIOP there he thinks that he may be making a play (i.e. header or deflection) which would cause a different response from the goalie. Hence the disallowed goal. Furthermore, just the fact that the PIOP thought he needed to get out of the way could be viewed as the PIOP's realization that he is in the way and is trying to get out of a position that would be considered interference.

As far as the second video I would say yes interference. His position could (and is intended to) block the goalie's vision of the kick and the first few yards of flight which delays the keeper's reaction as he was not able to pick the ball up as would be normal. So the PIOP gains an advantage. Regardless of the fact that he squats down lower so as not to be in the keeper's eye level. the advantage had already been gained.

I look forward to your response.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jim
On the Tiote one we cannot guess what the goalkeeper or player would have done based on a what if scenario. Moving to cover a PIOP is not grounds for offside. It certainly does not fit any one of the four interfering with an opponent conditions in Law 11 of 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.
So for me it could not be offside
On the second video I can see it possibly fitting the line of sight condition yet there are doubts about it.
I can perhaps see mind games and gamesmanship with the player positioned where he was yet I believe when the ball clears the wall the goalkeeper may have clear line of sight to the ball and that was demonstrated by his attempt at a save. I know some who will give this as offside more out of the attempt at gamesmanship and somewhat using the line of sight condition yet personally I believe the player is far enough away not to obstruct the line of vision. That is a judgement call
I recall an U16 Cup Final a number of years ago and a free kick goal was chalked off because an attacker had stood in an offside position at the side of a wall at the 18 yard line. It was a great free kick and from my viewing of I thought that it was a harsh offside call by my colleague. I doubted if the player was in line and the AR could not tell accurately from his position to the side if the PIOP was in line or not. The goal made little difference to the result yet it created ill feeling on what was a wonder goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Jim ,
on behalf of all of us thank you for considering us to help you on your journey!
Given it is an opinion in the grey areas , you are as right as anyone as to how you view it. Personally I am ok for a good goal on the Tiote goal and ok for offside on the 2nd one simply because the PIOP placed himself directly in front of the keeper and the ball. Move the PIOP off to either side I award the goal. They removed the concept of intending to distract, deceive or trickery by a PIOP but although the argument he was far enough away on the restart there was no reason to be there at all directly in line with the restart point and keeper. Assuming a PIOP role as a tactical weapon is a double edged sword!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jim,
On the Tiote goal, I cannot see any way the player has hindered or affected the goalkeeper's ability to play the ball. He has not prevented the goalkeeper from diving and he has not blocked the keeper's line of sight. Once again, affecting the goalie's thought processes or decision-making is not enough for an offside offence. The interference has to affect the opponent's actual ability to play the ball.

Unusually enough for television pundits, if you listen to the discussion in the video posted by ref McHugh, they actually give a completely accurate and informative analysis of the situation - they even quote directly from the law. For me, they are right in their conclusion that this goal should have been allowed.

The second video is a little less clear in my opinion. The player has deliberately placed himself in an offside position, directly in line with the path the ball will take. You could say that the flight of the ball has taken it high enough that the keeper is able to see the ball after it clears the wall but I think that the player could still be said to be blocking the keeper's view of the ball during the first portion of its flight (yes, there's a wall there but even so) and his actions are such a blatant attempt to interfere with the opponent that I would probably disallow this goal.

Interestingly enough this is very similar to a free kick routine that Manchester United used in an FA cup game against Shrewsbury in 2016. In this instance there were actually three players standing deliberately in an offside position in front of the keeper when the kick was taken so it was perhaps a little more obvious. The Premier League issued a statement as follows:

'The Premier League has this week written to its clubs to provide guidance regarding the offside law,' said a statement. 'The guidance is in relation to players standing in an offside position when a free-kick is taken.

'Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) issued this guidance to clear up misunderstandings that arose following the goal awarded to Manchester United in their FA Cup fifth-round tie against Shrewsbury Town on Monday night.

'PGMOL consulted the International Football Association Board (IFAB) as to whether there was an offside offence or not. As a result the PGMOL guidance below clarifies the situation.

'For the avoidance of doubt, similar scenarios in the future will be expected to be given as offside.'

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