PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer reflects on the decision to disallow the strike by DC United’s Kyle Porter at the weekend, in week 4’s Play of the week – a new feature on proreferees.com.
Paul explained: “Lionard Pajoy is clearly in an offside position and runs towards, but does not actually play, the ball. AR Craig Lowry raises his flag, but referee Allen Chapman waves him off and lets play continue. Once Kyle Porter has scored the goal, the officials confer and overturn the goal. In the context of the offside law, the questions to be asked here are:
“1. Did the offside player interfere with the play? Law specifies that he has to play or touch the ball. So no, Pajoy did not touch or play the ball.
“2. Did the offside player interfere with an opponent? Law states that he has to clearly obstruct an opponents line of vision or movements. So no, Pajoy did not prevent any defender from getting to the ball, nor did he obstruct a sight line.
“3. Law specifies that he has to make a gesture or movement that deceives or distracts an opponent? If you look at the defenders movements it is not Pajoy that distracts them but the AR’s flag. Simply moving towards the ball is not enough to distract opponents as it is a normal part of the game. If AR Lowry had waited to raise his flag we may have seen whether Pajoy would have actually played the ball. The flag being raised also does not end the play. All players are taught at an early age play to the whistle, not the flag. So again, the answer is no.
“Verdict: As none of the offside law was breached in this incident, the goal should have been allowed.”