An attacker passes the ball backwards but it hits a defender and deflects forward to another attacker coming from an an offside position. The attacker gains control, turns and shoots toward goal.
Is the play to be disallowed for an offside pass?


2 Answers 2


Offside. All what matters is the relative position of ball and receiver (forward) at the time of the pass. The rules do not specify anything about the direction of the pass.

From Law 11 of the FIFA Rules:

Offside position A player is in an offside position if- he is nearer to 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

If it is a deliberate pass by the defender however, the forward is not offside.

  • may I be enlightened on the reason for the downvote?
    – E. Sommer
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 7:23
  • FIFA hasn't had control of the LOTG for years now. We already know the player is in an offside position, so the law cited doesn't help at all. The answer completely ignores the part of the law that tells us what the correct decision is, the keyword is even stated in the question: deflection.
    – Nij
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 22:20
  • 2
    IFAB is clearly in charge of the rules, the most recent revision confirms this. In particular, from the introduction itself: "No alteration to the Laws of the Game can be made by any confederation or national football association (including competitions) unless it has been passed by The IFAB.". Ignoring that the defender played the ball, with no justification in law provided, makes this answer worthless as a response to a question about whether an offside offence has occurred.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 1, 2019 at 7:19
  • 1
    As I (and you yourself said), IFAB is in charge of altering the rules, which are then made public by the FIFA. So the laws of the game from FIFA is a viable source. Second, the rules do not explicitly discuss offside from an opponents pass, since offside only exists for passes from a teammate. So what is left for the referee (and mentioned by me) is to judge whether there is a deliberate play by a defender.
    – E. Sommer
    Commented Jan 1, 2019 at 18:56
  • 1
    IFAB has always (at least for the last century) been in charge of the Laws of the Game. FIFA used to publish the Laws, but now IFAB do that directly as well through their website and by publishing copies of the Laws (at http://theifab.com). Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 0:58

An offside position cannot occur when the ball comes from the defense, the most famous goal that illustrates that is the "The hand of god", the goal was controversial because of a hand play even though Maradona was seemingly offside, the reason he wasn't, is because the ball came from Steve Hodge.

  • This is not true. A deflection off a defender does not excuse offside offences.
    – Nij
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 4:23
  • This is wrong in almost every respect.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 10:01

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