Micro trend in offside calls

While everyone is having a laugh at Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina’s expense over this goal yesterday in Europa League play against Steau Bucharest:


…It’s worth pointing out that this is the second goal in the past week where a player in an offside position, who has not touched the ball but most definitely interfered with play by screening the keeper, has not been called for the offense.

The other was in an EPL game between Arsenal and Aston Villa last week when Ciaran Clark’s shot greatly benefited from John Carew screening Arsenal keeper Fabianski.

Here’s the offside rule straight out of the Laws of the Game 2010 edition:

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

Maybe my centreback bias is showing but both players, particularly Carew, gained an advantage from being in that position and interfered with play in that they impeded the keeper’s ability to see the ball.

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2 Responses to Micro trend in offside calls

  1. Fred Cutler says:

    totally agree. THey can gain an advantage even if they aren’t screening the keeper.
    Even a guy in an offside position way over on the other side of the goal is gaining an advantage as the potential recipient of a pass. In fact, he isn’t a potential recipient of a pass, but the keeper’s instincts will always be to cheat very slightly. The keeper shouldn’t have to figure out in a split second that the guy marginally offside on the other side of his vision can’t legally receive the pass so he (the keeper) should focus only on the shooter.
    If we’re going to have this anachronistic rule, it should at least be a simple, no exceptions rule.

    • Gregor says:

      when you say anachronistic are you suggesting the offside rule should be scrapped entirely? that would radically change the game.

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