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Question Number: 32989

Law 11 - Offside 1/15/2019

RE: Adult

Melvin H. of Colorado Springs, Colorado U. S. A. asks...

Everton at Liverpool, 90+6 minute, English Premier League:

Liverpool's #66 crosses the ball into the Everton penalty area; an Everton defender heads the ball out to the edge of the area where another Liverpool player mishits the ball into a moonball towards goal. Everton's keeper seems to be caught at sixes and sevens as the ball is coming down, so he bats the ball onto the crossbar. Liverpool #27, standing two yards off the goal line, heads the ball in for the only goal of the match. Only the keeper stood between Liverpool's player and the goal line, although that player and Liverpool's #15 were onside when the ball was mishit from the edge of the penalty area.

The question is, how is this goal not waved off for offside?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Melvin,
I'm glad you included the video.
Offside is always considered at the moment the ball is last touched by a teammate.
So, when the 'moonball' is kicked, at that moment, freeze it. Where are all the players? Nobody is in an offside position at this moment.
Doesn't matter that they moved into an offside position before they got to the ball - it's where they were when last touched by a teammate.
The keeper's touch doesn't change anything.

In a way, it's no different to an attacker timing the run to get past the defence on a through ball - he's onside when last touched, but well past the defence by the time he gets it. No offence.

The fact that this incident had a keeper touch doesn't matter.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Melvin
When the ball was kicked up in the air there was no Liverpool player in an offside position. The two Red Liverpool players moved after the ball was played so offside could not apply those two players.
Freeze frame the video at 2.58 the moment of the kick by #66 and you will note that Blue #23 is playing all the Red attackers onside.
It would only have been offside had the scorer been stood in an offside position beyond Blue#23 when the ball was kicked by a team mate.
For what it is worth it was simply a poor goalkeeping decision not to push the ball away for a corner.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Melvin,
Law 11 - Offside, states that a player can only commit an offside offence if they are in an offside position, ''at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate.'' At the moment the ball was last touched by a team mate before the Liverpool #27 played it, he was not in an offside position.

This used to be explicitly explained in the offside law. IFAB decision 1 to Law 11, adopted in 1956 stated:

''Off-side shall not be judged at the moment the player in question receives the ball, but at the moment when the ball is passed to him by one of his own side. A player who is not in an off-side position when one of his colleagues passes the ball to him or takes a free-kick, does not therefore become off-side if he goes forward during the flight of the ball.''

Although that wording is no longer included, the principle still holds true.

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

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