Offside goal causes Champs League controversy
It's one of the shortest and least complex Fifa Laws of the Game, yet it seems to cause the most controversy.
There have been quite a few in the PSL over these last few weeks and then a major one in the Champions League on Tuesday night in the quarterfinal between Borussia Dortmund and Malaga in Germany.
Malaga complained that the winning goal for the German side was clearly offside, coming as it did in the dying seconds of additional time added on by the referee at the end of the game.
As a result of that alleged offside goal, Borussia Dortmund qualified for the semifinal of Europe's premier competition.
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For the sake of clarity let me quote you what the "bible" of soccer says about Law 11 of the Fifa Laws of the Game.
"It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position."
"A player IS in an offside position if:
he is nearer his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.
"A player IS NOT in an offside position if:
he is in his own half of the field of play or
he is level with the second-last opponent or
he is level with the last two opponents."
"A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:
Interfering with play or
interfering with an opponent or
gaining an advantage by being in that position
"There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:
a goal kick
a throw in
a corner kick
Infringements and Sanctions
"In the event of an offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred."
Now that's it.
So where's the controversy?
Why does it generate so much debate?
What's NOT to understand about it?
To sum up, a player has to be directly and intentionally trying to gain an advantage by being in an offside position.
I await your response and questions.
Dr Errol Sweeney
World Cup Referee Coach and Mentor