Historically, Law 11, Offside has always been a controversial decision by Assistant Referees. The Law has also changed over the course of many years, as well as the interpretations, from even is on, daylight between attacker and defender, parts of the body, deliberate, deflected etc.
But the Law is clear, to many, the easiest Law to understand, but sometimes difficult to interpret. I should not have to go into all of the Law on page 97 of the FIFA law book, but we do want to focus on section 2 of the Law on page 97 where it reads, “ A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a teammate is only penalized on becoming involved in active play:” It goes on to say in the first bullet point; “interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a teammate”.
Now this is a very basic part of the Law and one that has not changed. The great thing about the new Law book, is that it is more defined with more diagrams of offside. The video here demonstrates what has been described above. On page 207 of the Law book, “gaining advantage”.
“An attacker in an offside position is penalized for playing or touching the ball that rebounds, is deflected or is played from a deliberate save by the goalkeeper having been in an offside position when the ball was last touched or played by a teammate”.
In the above video, you can clearly see how this is outlined by the Law. Number 9 of the attacking team in white receives the ball from an onside position and then passes to a teammate who is also onside. This teammate takes a shot which rebounds off of the GK when it deflects to number 9 of the white attacking team who is an offside position which deflected or is played from a deliberate save by the goalkeeper having been in an offside position when the ball was last touched or played by a teammate”.
What is difficult here is that, if we can agree that this is a basic part of the Law, how can we as referees miss this and more importantly, coaches, players and spectators cannot understand it as well?
More so than not, soccer is a 1 goal game and in this case the game winner.
The take away on this play, as in every duty of the Assistant Referee is to FOCUS and CONCENTRATE.