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Question Number: 32510

Law 11 - Offside 6/15/2018

RE: Intermediate Under 14

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

In the 6/15/18 World Cup Portugal v. Spain, why did the referee not let Diego Costa remain offside during a free kick (at about 53:41 on the clock)? I understand that if he participated in active play before offside reset, Portugal would get an INFK, but that's Diego's decision, isn't it?

Thanks for all your wisdom!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Yes I believe many referees would probably not have got involved here and decide based on what transpires in play. It could be that the referee may have informed Costa that he would call him offside if he stood in that position. Costa took his advice and moved to an onside position.
Please remember that in tournament play teams are briefed by referees before the tournament on a variety of topics. One topic might be this type of offside position so the referee could have been reminding Costa of what was said. Costa certainly reacts to the *advice* which seems to suggest some understanding? Rarely would a referee be proactive unless it is part of tournament advice / instructions.
Another area I noticed has been shenanigans in defensive walls at free kicks. I notice one free kick for pushing in a wall by an attacker in the opening Russian game and it was suggested that referees have been asked to pay particular attention to that. Collina Head of refereeing has in the past said that he wanted such behaviour dealt with. Another part of the refereeing advice is that ARs should not flag tight offsides yet let VAR make the call if a goal results.
So far the refereeing has been good and VAR has been working well.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Phil,
A referee has no authority to tell a player where to stand at a free kick, so as ref McHugh says, all he was probably doing was alerting Costa that if he stayed where he was, he risked being given offside.

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

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