My son's team recently played in their state cup finals and lost 1-0 to a controversial call. Please take a look at this video and give me your opinion on the corner kick which was called offsides. Was this decision correct?

State Cup-Recalled Goal (YouTube).

Thank you

  • Hi! Welcome to Sports StackExchange! It is unclear what exactly you are asking in the question. Kindly edit your question to include a specific query. You can look at this How To Ask page for help in formulating your question. Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 6:44
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    It isn't explicitly written as a question, but it seems quite clear to me that the asker wants to know if this decision was correct. This is a good question and definitely answerable. Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 12:44
  • I'm not sure what value could be placed on the opinions of users who are most likely not in a position to judge the call. Understandably, it seems like you're looking for vindication for your opinion of the call.
    – rrirower
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 15:05
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    @rrirower There is more than enough information here to decide whether the call is correct, and there are several licensed and active football referees on this site who can provide expert opinion. Illustrative examples like this are good for the site. Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 23:45

3 Answers 3


It should not have been called offside. The corner kick is swung in and bounces off the defender wearing shirt no 24.

enter image description here Because of this, there can be no question of offside, as the law states that a pass has to be made by a member of his own team:

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

Possibly the assistent referee thought that a player from the green team made the first touch, and saw that green nr 13 was standing closer to the goal than the last defender, and judges that this player was active, despite green nr 17 scoring the goal.

As a side note, mistakes by referees and assistent referees happen at all levels of football, and the referees don't have the benefit of replaying a scene multiple times before making a decision. Players, fans and coaches at any level need to be able to live with these decisions, play their best, and enjoy the game anyway.


As a supplement to the accepted answer, not only is the assistant referee wrong by opinion, they are wrong by law, which is usually grounds for a replay.

It states in Law 5 that:

The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.

However, decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with law are not final. If the refereeing team applies the law incorrectly and it affects the result of the match, it should be replayed.

This happened in 2005 at the international level. In spite of the language suggesting that FIFA set a precedent by doing this, it has always been the norm; if the referee is wrong by opinion (eg. missed a foul), there is no grounds to protest - if the referee is wrong by law (eg. gave a penalty kick for an indirect free kick offence), this is definitely protestable.

Keep in mind that this match was likely played under 2015/16 FIFA Laws of the Game, as all competitions that began before 1 June 2016 came under these laws. However, the following Law (Offside) has not changed in meaning (only the wording has been cleaned up) between the 2015/16 and 2016/17 editions.

From the 2016/17 FIFA Laws of the Game, Law 11 - Offside - Offside Offence:

A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:

  • interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate or
  • interfering with an opponent by:
    • 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 or
    • clearly attempting to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent or
    • making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball


  • gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
    • rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent
    • been deliberately saved by any opponent

If the assistant referee truly believed that #13 green had touched the ball, or prevented an opponent from playing the ball by obstructing their line of sight, or challenged an opponent for the ball, or made an obvious action which clearly impacted on the ability of an opponent to play the ball, then they would only be wrong by opinion, and not wrong by law.

However, given that #13 was practically on the goalpost and metres from the ball and opponents, this seems very unlikely. Years ago, referees were given discretion as to what constitutes interfering with an opponent (there were no sub-clauses outlining what it means). Recent editions of the laws have removed that discretion as per the wording above to ensure increased consistency in decisions.

It appears to me that the assistant referee saw #13 green in an offside position and somewhat near play, applied outdated Laws (due to poor knowledge or by habit), and simply assumed that #13's mere presence was enough to constitute interfering with play - which it isn't - hence why this is such a grievous and hence protestable error.

The accepted answer states that

Players, fans and coaches at any level need to be able to live with these decisions

Missed calls are a part of football, so this is somewhat correct. However, referees incorrectly applying the game due to a lack of training or poor knowledge should not be acceptable. This makes it harder for other officials, like myself, to go and apply the up-to-date laws given that officials weeks before have consistently been getting it wrong and confusing the players.

If I was in your position, even if it was too late to protest the result, I would be asking your club to provide this footage to your local football association so that it can be passed onto the local refereeing organisation to ensure this official is up-to-date on Law 11.


It looks like a offside to me as No.13 is in an offside position and interfering with the play. It also looks like the ball bounced off him to the goal scorer.

  • There are some problems with this answer. The first is that interfering with play only means one thing: touching/playing the ball, so the "also" in the second sentence is redundant. The second problem is that the ball did not bounce off #13 green - this is an illusion caused by the camera angle. Even if it did bounce off him, the ball came from a deliberate play from an opponent, so this cannot be offside. Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 23:46

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