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Offside decision

Hi
In a county cup game today a goal was given which i am convinced was incorrect. The red player had the ball just over the halfway line, and ahead of him were 3 blue defenders in a line across the pitch, beyond that a red no 9 in an os position, and in the distance the Gk on his line. The red player saw his no 9 was os, so instead played the ball down the right wing from his central position. A red winger ran past a blue defender and got to the ball first,continued down the wing chased by the defender, and before reaching the byline crossed to the middle where the red no 9, who had run goalwards from his original os position,headed the ball in without any challenge from the other defenders who hadn't caught him up.

The linesman said it was two phases of play, presumably one being the the pass and run down the line and the second the header into the goal, and so not os.

My view is that it should not have counted becuase the no 9 clearly gained an advantage/interfered with play after starting in an os position. Please could you advise.

Also could the Blue defender running down the wing chasing the winger with the ball play the No 9 back onside?

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Re: Offside decision

Hi
The assistant referee was 100% correct in this decision. Law 11 was amended in 2005 to deem that these type of situation could not be called offside. There are three way a player in an offside position can only be called offside now
1. "Interfering with play" which means touching the ball
2. "Interfering with an opponent" which means preventing the opponent playing or seeing the ball or making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent
3. "Gaining an advantage by being in that position" means playing a ball that rebounds to him off a goalpost or the crossbar having been in an offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position.
In the scenario you describe the player in the original offside position did not do any of the above three actions and therefore cannot be called offside. When the Red winger touched the ball again the original offside was reset and Red 9 was able to participate again in the next phases of play. The AR then has to make another determination on the position of other players after the winger regains possession of the ball. Red 9 can be placed in an offside position again by being behind the ball in the next phases of play or a having two Red opponents between him an the goal line again in the next phase.
One should not confuse an advantage in the literal sense with item 3 above. While it might be an advantage Law 11 does not allow for offside to be called. Some don't like it but that is the way it is and teams must change their tactics accordingly.
What I believe has confused many is that FIFA introduced one amendment to Law 11 in 2005 which stated that in the case of 1 above that a player in an offside position may be penalised before playing or touching the ball if, in the opinion of the referee, no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball. That unfortunately is being abused by many AR who now flag immediately rather than waiting to see what happens or wait for a touch of the ball. If the ball goes out for a goal kick or a throw in offside should not be called. When this offside is called it can makes the current Law 11 much like the 'old' offside Law with many unaware of the difference.

Re: Offside decision

Hi
The sentence "Red 9 can be placed in an offside position again by being behind the ball in the next phases of play or a having two Red opponents between him an the goal line again in the next phase" should read "Red 9 can be placed in an onside position..."
Apologies for the typo

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