Blog,  case study

Bundesliga match situation: what would you decide?

Very interesting game situation in this German Bundesliga game. First watch the video from the match between Hertha BSC and 1. FC Nürnberg with referee Michael Weiner. Then answer yourself the following questions. What would you decide: Goal? Yellow or red card? Or would you whistle for offside?

Below the video you’ll find the official statement from the German Football Associations DFB.

A short summary of the situation: Referee Michael Weiner whistles for denying obvious goalscoring opportunity (dogso) because a player (number 31, Nürnberg) uses his hand to prevent the ball from crossing the goal line. After the whistle a player (number 20, Hertha) scores. Shortly after that Weiner went to his assistant referee Norbert Grudzinski and they discussed the situation. According to the linesman a player (number 20, Hertha) in offside position and the Nürnberg goalie had contact. The AR’s interpretation: the number 20 of Hertha was involved in active play. Weiner recalls his initial decision and let play restart with an indirect free kick for offside.

“That interpretation was not correct”, says German FA in a statement on their website. “There’s no duelling for the ball taking place. No player was able to intervene in the game situation with the number 31 of Nürnberg”. That was the situation of the player who handled the ball on the goal line.

DFB added: “Also the contact between the goalie and the number 20 of Nürnberg was nu duel for the ball and both couldn’t interfere with play nor did the Nürnberg player make an offence. When the number 31 of Nürnberg had not handled the ball, it would have been a legitimate goal.”

And why is it not a goal? The player who scored was “gaining an advantage by being in offside position”, say the Laws Of The Game. It means “he was playing a ball that rebounds, is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside position”.

referee Weiner discusses with his assistant referee.
Bundesliga game situation: referee Weiner discusses with his assistant referee.
Conclusion: the referee should whistle for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, give the player who handles the ball a red card and restart play with a penalty kick.

Here is no duel take place at the ball. No player has the option to intervene in the game situation with the No. 31 / N. The contact between the TW / N and the No. 20 / H does not constitute a duel for the ball because they can not intervene in the game situation and a foul No. 20 / H also is not available. If N. 31 / N would not have blocked the ball with his hands and the ball would have gone directly into the goal, the results would have been obtained correctly. ”



  • Joan

    It is penalty kick and red card. In the first time the forward (who is in a offside position) doesn’t participate and the defender touch the ball with his hand when it is going to be goal. It the forward wouldn’t be in offside the solution would be goal and yellow card.

  • Dan

    Why no mention of playing the advantage? If there is a textbook example of playing the advantage on a red card and/or DOGSO, this clip is pretty much it.

    • jan (administrator)

      Because the player who scores is in offside position, Dan. It’s a deliberate save from the defender. The attacker in offside position receives the ball after a deliberate save from an opponent. That’s not a new situation, so it would be offside. That’s why a referee can’t play the advantage.

  • Referee Instructor

    In my opinion, as a referee instructor, I can argue that these officials made the correct call. At the moment the ball was played forward, you see the goalkeeper stumble with the player in an offside position. Under Law 11 (Offside), a player may be penalized for being in an offside position and interfering with an opponent. A referee can argue, had that player in an offside position not get in the way of the goalkeeper @ 2:30, that goalkeeper would of had a better chance at sprinting and making an attempt to save that ball, but that small collision between the goalkeeper and the offside player, in the opinion of the Assistant Referee, had an impact on the goalkeeper’s movement. I’m surprised DFB did not agree with their officials call.

  • ThirdBlindMouse

    Hi Jan,

    We, over here in Canada, keep discussing this clip and it’s a fantastic clip for discussion. So much going on here!!!

    Consider this break down and why I think this goal should be allowed, and the Red player only cautioned, and let me know what you think…

    1) Shot on goal from long range. Blue player in offside position (stop clip at 2:24)
    2) Ball is headed directly into the net and a red player deliberately handles the ball.
    3) Interpretation for law 11 states “A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered
    to have gained an advantage.”
    4) One cannot make a deliberate save by deliberately handling the ball (except for the GK within his own PA)
    5)Therefore, in this case, the red defender has now deliberately played the ball (albeit with his hand)
    6) This deliberate action now negates the offside position and the Blue player is no longer deemed to have gained an advantage – advantage is applied
    7) Goal is scored and allowed
    8) Red defender is Cautioned for Unsporting Behavior, and shown the yellow card.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.