We are publishing this interesting play because it is unusual and because it also displays a series of circumstances which make it very interesting for the analysis from the refereeing point of view in light of the Laws of the Game.
A defender prevents a goal by using his hand in a voluntary way. An attacker, who was in an offside position, receives the ball and scores a goal.
The referee had signalled penalty and a red card for denying the opposing team a goal by handling the ball, but after consulting the assistant referee, signals offside upon the latter´s request, and restarts the match with the corresponding indirect free kick.
Why is the final decision (offside) not correct?
Advantage cannot be applied for a player who is not in legal conditions to benefit from it, because there is no advantage and the offender team benefits from that wrong interpretation.
The decision, therefore, must be penalty and red card for denying the opposing team a goal by deliberately handling the ball.
It is important to point out that handling the ball is previous to the offside. Although the player is previously in an offside position, being in an offside position is not known to be cautionable and it is necessary to wait and see whether from that position it interferes in the game, in an opponent or gaining an advantage by being in that position, which is what happens after the handling of the ball. Therefore, and because advantage cannot be applied (so that a player in an offside position plays with the ball), deliberate handling of the ball must be cautioned.
We also analyse the situation, understanding that the referee blows the whistle at the handling of the ball, after the player who was in an offside position has scored a goal, given the immediacy of the situations, since if the referee had blown the whistle before this player “scored” the goal, there would be no doubt that the only possibility of restarting the game would have been with the penalty kick, since everything which would happen next would have been invalid.
In any case, the decision would have only been understandable if the referee had applied advantage, not knowing the offside initial position of the player that eventually “scored”. If it had been so and after having been reported by the assistant that the player who “scored” was in an offside position, the decision should have been penalty and a red card for the defender who prevents the goal in a cautionable way.
N.B. On their official website, the German Football Federation conveniently explained the play at issue and the correct decision that had to be made.