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Question Number: 33768

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/11/2019

sal of chicago, IL USA asks...

So team BLUE is on a breakaway with 4 players against RED defender #2 and his goalie. RED defender #2 seeing that he was outnumbered steps past the goal line and out of the FOP, about 5 yards from the goal post,for about 2 seconds and frantically tries to get the attention of the AR so an offside is called. When this fails he sprints back into the field and blocks a shot from the one of the BLUE strikers. Punishment and restart?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Sal,
The defender is an idiot.. First off if the AR notices his actions he would ignore it as the opposition has the ball & consider him on the goal line . The AR would note the possible cautionable misconduct. The player by leaving then re-entering could again have been noted for this transitional misconduct. He may have escaped unnoticed as being off but surprises the attackers by the return? Technically play could continue and then at the next stoppage the defender could be cautioned for his failed attempt to induce a offside by leaving and reentering. I had first thought he could be cautioned for interfering with play as a separate caution or even as DOGSO with a PK or DFK restart but he is an active player who is supposed to be on the FOP defending, perhaps it is a stretch to send him off for 2 cautions or a direct red card I thank Darryl for pointing it out!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Sal,
This sounds like a pretty stupid ploy all around. Firstly, even with the defender off the pitch, there's no guarantee any of the opponents is going to commit an offside offence. If the player with the ball just keeps it, or only passes to a team mate who is behind the ball, there's no offside offence anyway.

Secondly, [Edit: as ref Dawson says, the defender would still be considered to be on the end line so leaving the field would have no effect on judging offside position. Thirdly,] as ref McHugh points out, by deliberately leaving the field to put an opponent in an offside position and then re-entering the field without permission, the defender has already committed two cautionable offences - and then there's the question of a potential DOGSO offence.

So all in all, with the two cautionable offences and the possibility of a DOGSO offence, the defender is going to be lucky to stay on the field. The restart when a player who was off the field, re-enters without permission and interferes with play, is a direct free kick or a penalty kick depending on the location of the offence.

The relevant parts of the law are as follows:

For the stepping of the field to cause offside part: ''If the player left the field of play deliberately, the player must be cautioned when the ball is next out of play.''

For the re-entering and interfering part: ''A player who enters without permission must be cautioned, and if play is stopped to issue the caution, an indirect free kick is awarded from the position of the ball when play was stopped, unless there was interference, in which case a direct free kick (or penalty kick) is awarded from the position of the interference.''

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Sal
Interesting one
My answer is given in this very unique situation of a player leaving, staying off, calling for offside to an AR, coming back on and interfering with play which is an offence.
First off it is not offside and stepping off the field of play deliberately to try to place an opponent offside is a cautionable offence in its own right..
As the player has re-entered the field of play also without permission then he is guilty of a free kick offence punished from where the interference took place.
If the referee considers that the offence has denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity then the defender would be sent off for that offence or he could be dismissed for two cautions if it was a DFK / penalty kick.
I suspect that many referees might simply go with the free kick scenario and with a caution.
Rarely do we see the double caution for leaving and re-entering in the same scenario yet it is available to the referee. The DOGSO red card is also a possibility as the actions of the player by interfering punished by a free kick / penalty is a red card offence if all the DOGSO conditions are met.

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