Week 19’s Play of the week sees PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer look at an incident in the recent game between Seattle Sounders and DC United.
The play that Paul draws upon occurred in the 66th minute at CenturyLink Field.
He explained: “A long ball is played and Seattle striker Obafemi Martins is in an offside position. A defender then deliberately attempted to play the ball to his keeper. At this point, Martins cannot be deemed offside as this is a deliberate play by the defender. If the ball had deflected or rebounded off the defender then the AR would have been correct in raising his flag and judging Martins to be in an offside position.
“This is a perfect time to reflect on FIFA’s new law interpretation regarding ‘Gaining an advantage’. The law states that, ‘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’.
“Therefore, the AR, Jeff Hosking, was incorrect in raising the flag and Referee Allen Chapman was incorrect in accepting it. The AR indicates that Martins came from an offside position to play the ball, but he has to treat the defenders deliberate header as another phase of play and judge the forward to be onside.
“While the new FIFA interpretation won’t officially apply in MLS until next season, the International Board decided to reword the Offside Law guidelines this year. Thus, while the Law has not actually changed, this new interpretation makes it easier to understand.
“The full new Law 11 (Offside) interpretation is as follows;
“In the context of Law 11 – Offside, the following definitions apply:
– Interfering with play means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a teammate.
– Interfering with an opponent means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or challenging an opponent for the ball.
– Gaining an advantage by being in that position means playing a ball that;
(i) rebounds or is deflected to him off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent having been in an offside position, or
(ii) that rebounds, deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside 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.”