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Question Number: 32639

Law 11 - Offside 8/12/2018

RE: Adult

Clive of Canterbury, Kent UK asks...

Liverpool vs West Ham, 12/8/18. Why was Liverpools second goal not offside?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Clive
When the cross was made Liverpool No7 was clearly in an onside position while both his team mates were in offside positions. As the players in those offside positions did not play the ball or interfere with an opponent both were excluded from any offside calculation.
When Liverpool No 7 played the ball both players were then behind the ball at the moment of the cross so that could not be considered offside
The decision was 100% correct under Law 11. The opening line of Law 11 tells us that it is not an offence to be in an offside position. Offside positioned players have to do something more to be called offside.
In the modern game second phase of play is used extensively with previously positioned offside players getting involved in active play in their onside position on the second / third touch.
At free kicks it is now used as a tactic to avoid close marking and the offside positioned player waits until the ball is played for a second / third time before getting involved in play.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Clive,
the goal scorer was NO longer offside when it came to HIS involvement . The earlier touches of the ball by his ONSIDE Teammates lifted his restriction. because at those times the ball itself was closer to the opposing goal line than he was WHEN his team mate touched the ball. There is no 2nd last defender required in these cases. It might seem unfair that a previously restricted offside player can rejoin play after the defenders have run out but tactically it is risky thing to do if onside players are in possession of the ball. and the offside positioned players are NOT yet involved in active play thus NOT guilty of offside. Players move, ball moves, positions change at EACH touch of the ball and remember it is NOT an offence to be in an offside position

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Clive,
It was not offside because no player was in an offside position when the last touch of the ball by a team mate occurred before the goal was scored. It is true that some players were offside at the time of a previous touch by a team mate but they did not become involved in active play until after the subsequent touch and as previously stated, they were not offside at that time.

This scenario is specifically covered in the following wording from page 209 of the Laws of the Game 2018-19 edition, in the 'Practical Guidelines for Match Officials' section of the Laws:

''An attacker (C) is in an offside position, not interfering with an opponent, when a team-mate (A) passes the ball to player (B1) in an onside position who runs towards the opponents' goal and passes the ball (B2) to team-mate (C). Attacker (C) was in an onside position when the ball was passed, so cannot be penalised.''

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Offside Question?

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

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