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Question Number: 32516

Law 11 - Offside 6/17/2018

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32509

One additional question to this situation please.

Can the referee call the offside immediately after the free kick? (f.e. the pass goes to another part of the penalty area than Costa is)

Or does the referee have to wait until he is directly involved in play?

I mean this part of the rule:
'preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by
clearly obstructing the opponents line of vision.'

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
There has to be interfering with an opponent for offside to be called. So unless the goalkeeper was unsighted which is unlikely on a cross away from Costa there would be no offside.
Indeed this happens quite a lot where players position themselves in a clear offside position and then wait for the second phase of play to get involved in active play. Law 11 as currently constituted allows for that as it is not an offence to be in an offside position, the first line of Law 11 in the LotG.
I suspect given the location of the free kick in the Costa situation that the referee fully expected a shot at goal hence perhaps his interest in Costas position and his advice to the player.
I think the referee could have ignored having a word with Costa and called what transpired. Who knows. Maybe it is part of some instruction given to the tournament referees by Colina and Co to be proactive, call line of sight offside ?

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr ,
yes the referee can BUT the player MUST be in a position, that in the opinion of the referee does in fact coincide with how the law reads!

If the ball is NOT Shot directly at the goal but as a pass across then the position at the time of the shot is likely NOT interfering with the line of sight so unless he physically impedes a defender trying to pursue the ball it is doubtful there is an auto INDFK .

When the NEXT attacker plays the ball the PIOP would then be assessed and his subsequent involvement from that time on if he was STILL in an offside position . His earlier position no longer applies.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

So there are two parts are to being called for offside. First you must be an offside position. Next he must get involved in active play at the moment a teammate touch or plays ball. Once the referee has deemed both parts are met, then offside is called. In your situation, it would be called immediately when the attacker affects the defenders line of vision.

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Offside Question?

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

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