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Question Number: 32521

Law 11 - Offside 6/18/2018

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

This question is a follow up to question 32516

Last question to this situation please.

I'll get it a bit over. Imagine that Costa stands a meter in front of the goalie.

Doesn't Costa gain an unjustified advantage for his team? (Costa disturbs the goalkeeper and prevents him from viewing.)

Perhaps the referee wanted to whistle immediately after free kick. Why would he otherwise warn? :-)

Tkank you! Have a nice day!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
Law 11 tells us that interfering with an opponent is when an player in an offside position does one the following
# prevents an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent's line of vision or
# challenges an opponent for the ball or
# clearly attempts 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.
In the situation where the PIOP is stood a metre in front of the goalkeeper then he is obstructing the goalkeepers line of vision which is offside or it can be impacting on the GKs ability to play the ball which is also offside.
Being offside is not enough. I suspect that the referee was anticipating a shot in the Costa situation so that might have been a possible line of sight interference.
I personally think that the referee should not have intervened and just called whatever transpired.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

Well him nearly standing there does not justify him gaining an advantage. He would have to either impede an opponent or impact the vision of an opponent usually the keeper. It's not enough to say that him standing there is effecting keepers performance

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

There is no doubt that when players deliberately or tactically try to influence an opponent on a free kick by assuming an offside position it is a big neon sign hey guys LOOK at me! when generally the ME will have nothing to do with the initial play.

There is NO doubt the CLOSER the PIOP is to the keeper the GREATER the likely hood of him being accused of interfering or blocking his line of sight.

IT is an OPINION after all.

Players are well versed in the LOTG believe it or not and will tactically try to USE the LOTG or adapt to them by pressing their loopholes.

Offside GREATEST loophole is


They pushed this so the line of sight thing was added because now the POSITION itself was detrimental as it INVOLVED the restricted participating PIOP.

You see we DO NOT consider the thoughts or the decisions by the opponents. WE only look to see WHAT does the PIOP DO to become involved?

If the CR was warning COSTA? I believe as Ref McHugh he should not do so. Tactical decisions are the PLAYERS responsibility to make .

If as you suggest COSTA HAD been 1 meter away DIRECTLY in front of the keeper if the kick occurs where it is directed towards him or the goal it would likely be an INDFK given the radius of line sight would be spreading V outward. I had a player try a similar stund where he did what he did the kicker rolled the ball backwards and the PIOP dropped to the deck as the 2nd touch sends it in towards the goal the keeper stepped around the prostrate PIOP to save the ball. But I was thinking IF they had of scored I might not have permitted it!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
If a player is merely standing in an offside position in front of the keeper (even if they're only a metre away) and the free kick has not been taken yet, there is no offence. If they're still there when the kick is taken they still aren't committing an offence until or unless they either touch the ball, challenge for it or prevent the keeper from being able to play the ball in one way or another (usually by blocking their line of sight).

The only way - according to the offside law - that a player can gain an advantage is by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent after the ball has rebounded or deflected from an opponent or the frame of the goal.

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Offside Question?

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

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