Black and White | Round 26

Welcome to the PFRA’s Black and White. Each week, Black and White will take a look at a hot refereeing topic from the Hyundai A-League and provide insight, analysis and opinion from the eyes of the match officials.

In this first edition of Black and White, we take a look at Offside (Law 11) and an incident that occurred in the Round 26 match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar.

This situation deals with one specific element of offside, interfering with an opponent. When the ball is played into the goal area by Hingert (BR19), Holman (BR10) is in an offside position. Holman runs towards the ball and is within playing distance of the ball. The ball then passes between Holman and goalkeeper Janjetovic (WS20), and a goal is scored by Maccarone (BR9).

The assistant referee may provide information to the referee on the Holman’s offside position, but due to his angle of vision, can be in doubt regarding the impact of Holman’s actions on the Janjetovic’s ability to play the ball. When the assistant referees are in doubt, they are advised to leave the flag down – especially in potential goal scoring scenarios where the video assistant referee (VAR) can intervene if the decision is clearly and obviously wrong.

In this case, the actions of Holman had a clear impact on Janjetovic’s ability to play the ball. Janjetovic delayed his movement and reaction to be able to play the ball due to Holman’s actions. The VAR correctly intervenes and disallows the goal.

The laws of the game state that a player should be penalised in this situation on becoming involved in active play by making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball.

The second aspect of this situation is the involvement of the VAR once a goal has been scored. As goals are one of the four reviewable areas for VAR involvement, in this situation the VAR correctly provides the referee with advice that Holman should be penalised for offside and the goal disallowed. As this situation is a matter of fact, there is no need for the referee to conduct an on field review, and the goal is subsequently and correctly disallowed by the referee.

To read more on Law 11 or the implementation and guidelines for video assistant referees, visit

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