In last night's France v Germany encounter, France toward the end of the match, had a goal disallowed for offside.

Pogba played the ball to Mbappe, who was doubtfully offside. However Benzema, who was to put the ball into the net, was at that point clearly, by a country mile, in an offside position. But was he - at that stage- "interfering with play"?

In view of the fact that he went on to score a goal without any further German player touching the ball, surely he must have been.

So who was given offside - Mbappe or Benzema?

NB. I am not asking about the one which Mbappe "scored" with a brilliant curl - and was given offside. It is the later one involving Pogba, Mbappe and Benzema, which puzzles me.

1 Answer 1


Both players were in an offside position from the initial pass forward, as can be reasonably seen in this YouTube highlights video, starting from 3:14:

Because one of the offsides was close and a clear goalscoring opportunity was created, it is considered best practise to keep the flag down until the GSO has passed. Then, if a goal is scored or VAR may otherwise intervene, the flag is raised.

If VAR checks and finds that the offisde decision is wrong, they will override it. As this did not happen, they have determined it was the correct decision.

Since both players were in an offside position and both played the ball thereafter, both have committed an offside offence, and both were given offisde.

If for some technical reason a person needed to pick one player to be The offside player, one has a simple tool to do so: look at where the free kick was taken. It must be from the position of the offside player at the time the ball was last kicked by an onside player,

  • If it was inside the box or centre of the field, #19 Benzema

  • If it was outside to the right, #10 Pogba

  • +1 for a comprehensive answer - though I was naturally aware of the flag protocol when VAR is operating. But let's suppose Mbappe had been onside, at what point would offside have occurred - when Pogba played the ball - or when Benzema struck the ball? It was so easy under the old system since offside was ruled whenever any player, irrespective of their involvement with play, was caught in an offside position.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 10:57
  • If by "the old system" you mean "the way it was refereed 20+ years ago" well, maybe. But easier does not always mean better, as in the case of offside offences viz. actually affecting play. If Player A passes to Player B (onside when Player A passed) who passes to Player C (offside when Player A passed) the offside offence occurs when Player C became active in play, and the free kick is taken from where they were at the time Player B played the ball.
    – Nij
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 11:00
  • I can't find anything in the "history of offside", but I seem to recollect it was far less than 20 years ago when the question of whether a player was "interfering with play" became an issue. All kinds of situations were discussed on "MotD" - like for example if a player was doing nothing other than blocking the vision of the goalkeeper. Equally a player who never touches the ball but whose presence acts to engage the attention of a defender. It became a hot topic of discussion. I feel sure it was in response to a rule change.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 7:59
  • Are you saying that the question of an offside player's engagement with play has not changed since 1925?
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 8:04
  • You seem to have misinterpreted what I said, so I can't make any sense of what response you expect here.
    – Nij
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 20:29

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