Recently, IFAB has sent out a new circular heavily pertaining to Law 11 and the interpretation of the offside law. In particular, it pays close attention to “Interfering with and opponent” and the act of a “”Save”. Along with the circular, The FA have also distributed a clarification memo, and illustrative examples to help referees at all levels understand what is actually being discussed. I’m not going to go into them in great detail – if you would like to see the material for yourself, you are more than welcome to download them below:
However, it is my opinion that although these documents provide extremely useful and priceless information, it also has tendencies to muddy up the already unclear waters. I find that the more IFAB and FIFA try to stream line Law 11 and make easier to understand, they are actually doing more harm and making it so convoluted that people just get more and more confused. But, that’s not my biggest beef with all of this.
The new guidelines and clarification to the interpretation of Law 11 now throws a huge monkey wrench into a particular situation that I thought was finally understood and had been put to bed. But, yet again, here we are at a cross roads trying to use the LOTG to help explain match incidents and come to the correct, lawful decision.
The incident was described in my post on March 12, 2014 titled “DOGSO-H or Offside??? I can’t decide!” I thought I had nailed this case shut, and brilliantly explaining the correct decision with the support of the Laws of the Game. Up until recently, I had! Now? It seems as though I now have to finesse my answer a little bit and make an addendum.
Previously, and according to LOTG, this scenario should be a send off for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Why not advantage, allow the goal and caution the defender, you ask? Well, it simply because the player who got the rebound and scored was in an offside position before getting the rebound, gained an unfair advantage by being in the position and therefore, the goal would not have been legal. Ergo, no advantage possible, and the handling offence stands – send off for DOGSO-H. Simple, yes?
NOW…lets look at this using the new circular:
Since the ball was deliberately saved by the defender by using his hands, this is now NOT considered a save.
“A ‘save’ is when a player stops a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of his body except his hands…”
Since it’s NOT a save, but still a deliberate play, the attacker is not considered to have gained an advantage by being in that position
“”A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage”
The referee could now allow the advantage since there is no offside offence.
Therefore, advantage given, goal is scored and awarded, and the defender who handled the ball is now cautioned for USB!
HERE are some more examples and further clarification.
Mind blow??? Mine is!!!! HOLY CRAP!!!!
The Third Blind Mouse