DC UNITED VS. FC DALLAS NON-OFFSIDE CALL

Question:
During the March 30, 2012, DC United vs. FC Dallas MLS match, there was a play late in the first half where Dallas player Perez (#9) scored after receiving the ball following a deflection/misplay by DC United defender Dudar (#19). At the time the ball was last played by Perez’s teammate Hernandez. who chested the ball forward, Perez was in a clear offside position. All of our training as well as the Advice to Referees states that in order for the offside situation to “reset” the defender must control and play the ball. A deflection, miskick, or misplay is not supposed to reset the offside situation. In this case the AR did not raise his flag for offside and the goal was allowed to stand.

USSF answer (April 4, 2012):
An official review of the situation at the highest levels confirms that the call should have been offside.

TWO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ON RESTARTS

Question:
We were debriefing after a match and the following technical restart questions came up. As part of my U18M Premier Division pregame I instructed the AR’s to not call technical throw-in violations unless the attacking team gained an unfair advantage or was creating a match management problem; I specifically included stepping on the field as a potentially trifling technical violation. During the match I chose a goal kick when an offside player booted the ball over the goaline – after the AR raised his flag, but without my whistle.

1. We know from Advice for Referees on the LOTG that given a choice of IFK for offside infraction and a goal kick or throw-in, to choose the latter in deference to game flow. How about if the offside player kicks the ball over the goal or touch line? Does the obvious game interference take precedence and result in the IFK restart?
2. We know from Advice for Referees on the LOTG that the primary purpose of the throw in is to get the ball quickly in play, and, at competitive levels, technical throw in infractions should be considered trifling. Obviously if the thrower gains an unfair advantage or the infraction may result in a match management problem, the throw in infraction is not trifling and should be called. How about if the thrower has one or both feet completely on the field (no unfair advantage gained nor a match management problem)?

USSF answer (March 23, 2012):
The referee is permitted a certain amount of discretion in enforcing the Laws of the Game, taking into consideration just the sort of things you suggest: game flow, level of skill, effect on match management, etc. However, the referee’s judgments must not be perceived as setting aside the Laws in his or her discretionary acts.

1. Only the referee knows which choice better fits the situation in this particular game. This one clearly comes under the advantage concept as well as the “easier to explain” concept.

2. Infringements of Law 15 are usually trifling (and occasionally doubtful), with the exception at times of being in the wrong location. The infringement needs to be blatant and obvious before the referee calls a “bad” throw-in when it comes to feet. In youth play, even “U18 Premier Division,” the referee should be proactive in dealing with this by stopping the throw-in before it is taken and having the player do it right. Game flow is one thing, but flouting the Law is another. However, having one or both feet fully in the field of play – and well beyond the touchline — is usually more than a trifling infraction.

WHY NO OFFSIDE AT A GOAL KICK?

Question:
I am 58 years old, still play twice a week and have refereed and coached at all levels thru high school and never even considered this issue before this past weekend.

What is the intent of Law 11 specifically that there is no off sides on a goal kick?

The situation – Team A takes a goal kick and Team A player(s) are 10 yds closer to Team B’s goal prior to the kick than the last Team B defenders who are at midfield when the ball is kicked. If Law 11 is taken literally in this instance, that there is no off sides for Goal kicks, it seems contradictory to the other off sides criteria to allow the Team A player to be on side. I understand and agree completely with throw-ins and corner kicks.

Or is the intent that Team B players cannot be off sides when they are just outside the Team A penalty area when Team A goal keeper takes the goal kick and Team A defenders are closer to mid field than Team B player(s). Which makes sense since the Team B player(s) are no closer to the goal than the ball when it is put into play.

USSF answer (March 22, 2012):
The Laws of the Game are not made by FIFA, but by the IFAB (International Football Association Board), of which FIFA is a member.

The IFAB has long held that the game needs more scoring. Referees are encouraged to give every chance to the attacking team, particularly whenever there is any doubt. This rule applies to offside and to possible fouls and misconduct. Indeed, the IFAB so much wants the attacking game to be encouraged that it has excluded players from being called offside DIRECTLY from a goal kick for over 130 years. Goal kicks became exempt from offside in 1866 – long before FIFA existed. The intent was possibly to keep the defending team honest. Who are we to argue?

XI

Question:
Did I miss something?

Memory serves that an attacker used to be in an offside position, in part, if he was in his opponents’ half of the field. Now, it seems, that attacker is given a yard +/- because he is not offside if he is in his own half of the field. So, ignoring the opponents, if an attacker has a foot on the half-way line, marking both halves, is he not in an offside position?

USSF answer (February 22, 2012):
An area of the field is demarcated by lines. The lines belong to the area they define. The halfway line belongs to BOTH halves. Foot position (or body position, for that matter) at the kick-off is treated similarly to the foot position for a throw-in: The foot may be on or behind or hanging over the line. For offside, the only thing that matters is where the parts that can legally play the ball are. However, in all cases, the offense, if any, is TRIFLING. Therefore, a player with his foot on the halfway line can be said to be in his own half of the field of play, no matter that some parts of his body may be across the line in the opponents’ territory.

For pure territorial purposes, yes, a player whose farthermost advance is a foot on the midfield line is indeed still in his own half of the field; however, the “formula” for determining if an attacker is “past” the second-last defender (past = any part of the body that can legally play the ball is closer to the goal line than the second to last defender) would apply as well to determining if an attacker was past the ball or past the midfield line. In other words, if any part of the body that can legally play the ball is across the midfield line, then the attacker is indeed in the opposing team’s half of the field — for purposes of determining offside position.

INTERFERING WITH AN OPPONENT

Question:
As many times as this has been debated in your forum, I am still unclear on a couple of special offside situations. The memorandum on offside seems to leave a few gray areas which raise havoc with teaching offside in the Entry-Level classes. What exactly does, “the actions of the (offside position) attacker influence the actions of a defender …” mean??

For example, a ball is played by an attacker from his/her own end that lands near the penalty area and bounces in the direction of the keeper. A second attacker, in an offside position near the halfway line when the ball was played, begins to run in the direction of the keeper. No other defenders beside the keeper are in the attacking end.

The AR does not signal offside and referee decides to allow the keeper to play the ball. However,the keeper mishandles the ball and it goes into the goal. What is/was the correct procedure for the AR and referee? Can it be assumed that the distant approach of the offside attacker induced the keeper to misplay the ball?

In the same situation, a second attacker running from an onside position joins his teammate in an approach to the keeper. This time the ball bounds away from the keeper and the onside attacker collects the ball and scores.

USSF answer (February 10, 2012):
This response of 29 September 2009 should suffice:
“The attacker is interfering with the opponents — both by drawing the opponent into a competition for the ball and by actively challenging the opponent while both are racing for the ball. Our thoughts? Pop that flag upon the very first indication that the attacker was acting to distract or deceive the opponent while in an offside position.”

However, if there is no interference, as in your first example of the goalkeeper far,far away and the attacker near the halfway line, let play develop until there is some sign of this interference. This also applies to the second scenario: If the player in the onside position is going for the ball and the player in the offside position is behind him, let it go until it is clear that the player in the offside position is interfering.

Two applicable position papers have been issued and are available on the USSF website:

1. August 24, 2005

Re: Law 11: Offside
IFAB advice on the application of Law 11, Decision 2

Date: August 24, 2005

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) revised Law 11 (Offside) effective 1 July 2005 by, among other things, incorporating definitions of what it means to • interfere with play,
• interfere with an opponent, and
• gain an advantage by being in an offside position.

The USSF Advice to Referees section of Memorandum 2005 ended its discussion of the addition of these three definitions by noting:

Referees are reminded that the reference to “playing or touching the ball” does not mean that an offside infraction cannot be called until an attacker in an offside position actually touches the ball.

Because of recent developments which appear to focus on “touching the ball,” there has been some confusion about the above statement. “Touching the ball”is not a requirement for calling an offside violation if the attacker is interfering with an opponent by making a movement or gesture which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts that opponent. What the International Board has recently emphasized is that, in the unlikely event an attacker in an offside position is not challenged by any opponent, the attacker should not be ruled offside unless and until the attacker physically touches the ball.
This emphasis is both simple and easily implemented:

• An attacker in an offside position who is not challenged by any opponent and not competing for the ball with a teammate coming from an onside position who could, in the opinion of the officiating team, get to the ball first should not be ruled offside for interfering with play or gaining an advantage unless that attacker actually touches the ball. In a close race between an onside and an offside attacker, it would be necessary to see which player touches the ball before deciding if an offside offense has occurred.

• An attacker in an offside position whose gestures or movements, in the opinion of the officiating team, cause an opponent to challenge for the ball has interfered with an opponent and should be ruled offside whether the attacker touches the ball or not.
The International Board issued a Circular on August 17, 2005, which reaffirmed the above approach. As the Board stated (emphasis added): “A player in an offside position may be penalized before playing or touching the ball if, in the opinion of the referee, no other teammate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.” Further, “If an opponent becomes involved in the play and if, in the opinion of the referee, there is potential for physical contact, the player in the offside position shall be penalized for interfering with an opponent.” Finally, the Board confirmed the requirement that the indirect free kick restart for an offside offense is taken “from the initial place where the player was adjudged to be in an offside position.”

All referees, instructors, and assessors should review these guidelines carefully. It is important that officials understand and handle the offside offense in a correct, consistent, and realistic manner. Personal interpretations which differ from the approach outlined here can only cause confusion and hard feelings on the part of players, team officials, and spectators.
USSF will shortly distribute to the state associations and place on its website a PowerPoint presentation incorporating this clarification.

2. October 17, 2007

Subject: Offside Myths

Date: October 17, 2007

In response to the suggestion that there is “widespread confusionv regarding Law 11 (Offside), the allegation that referees are being inconsistent in applying the requirements of this Law, and the increasing use of phrases like “passive offside,” we would like to offer the following brief explanation to assist in understanding the meaning and application of Law 11.

There is no such thing as “active offside” or “passive offside” despite the common use of these terms, particularly by commentators. They are, at best, merely shorthand phrases coined for easy reference to the two central concepts in Law 11. Unfortunately, as with so many shorthand phrases, they often confuse rather than clarify what needs to be understood. In general, “passive offside” is used to identify an attacker who is in an offside position but not involved in active play, whereas “active offside” is intended to identify an attacker who has become actively involved in play while in an offside position.
Law 11 has two core threads- these are position and offence. The offside position, has a well-established meaning and its concept is clear:

• A player is in an offside position if he is nearer his opponent’s 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.
– He is level with the second last opponent.
– He is level with the last two opponents
• The judgment as to the offside position is determined at the moment the ball is played by a member of the playerÕs team.

Offside position is factual based on the relative positions of an attacker, the ball, the halfway line, and the second last opponent.
The offside offence is, by contrast, a matter of interpretation by the officiating team and, while the concepts are equally clear, some clarification as to how the officials reach their decision is offered:

• Being in an offside position is not an offence in itself.
• A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball is played or touched by a teammate, he is involved in the active play by interfering with the play, interfering with an opponent or gaining an advantage by being in that position.
• A player who receives the ball directly from a goal kick, throw in or a corner kick has not committed an offside offence.
• A player’s offside or onside position at the time the ball is touched or played by a teammate cannot be changed by any subsequent movement of the player, the opponents or the ball, so long as there has been no intervening play of the ball by an opponent. An offside or onside position is based on where the player is when the playerÕs teammate touches or plays the ball, not where the player becomes actively involved in play.

There must be a clear understanding that an offside position is decided based on a moment in time, when the ball is touched or played by a teammate, whereas the offside offence is judged from that moment onward. In other words, having in effect taken a snapshot of player positions and frozen their onside or offside positions at that moment, the officials must then judge whether players in offside positions become involved in active play. This involves weighing the direction and speed of the ball, the direction and speed of the player in an offside position, the direction and speed of any teammates coming from onside positions and the position and movement of any opponents relative to players in offside positions.

Although this sounds very complex and perhaps beyond the abilities of mortal men and women, in reality the decision-making process of a properly trained official is smooth and calculated to reach a correct interpretation of each situation. What is important to remember is that match officials take into consideration the whole playing scenario across the entire field from where the play started, factoring in the elapsed time, whereas many observers often only focus on a few players, over a short period of time, based on the direction of play and where it ends up.

How is the determination of “active involvement” made leading to a decision to penalize for offside?

“Interfering with play” means touching or playing the ball last touched or played by a teammate. In this context, touching and playing the ball are considered equivalent actions by the player. At a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) on 11 August 2005, this point was clarified as follows: “A player in an offside position may be penalized before playing or touching the ball if, in the opinion of the referee, no other teammate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.” This clarification means that the player could be penalized immediately rather than having to wait for a physical touch of the ball if, in the opinion of the referee, there was no teammate in an onside position who could compete for the ball. It follows that, if there were a teammate coming from an onside position who could play the ball legally, it would be necessary to wait to see which player actually got to the ball first.
“Interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or movement, or by a gesture or movement which in the opinion of the referee deceives or distracts an opponent. We also have to remember that:

• Attackers clearly behind a defender do not interfere with them.
• Merely knowing that an opponent is in offside position does not justify a defender claiming that he was interfered with.
• An attacker raising his hand to signify no involvement does not, by itself, constitute an action which “deceives or distracts.” Indeed, in this context, there is no need for an attacker to signal “no involvement” as his involvement can be objectively determined by what he does, not by what he fails to do.
“Gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball that rebounds to him off a goalpost, crossbar, or an opponent, having been in an offside position when that phase of play began. In effect, this particular element is an extension of interfering with play, compounded by the rebound of the ball. In cases where this aspect of law is invoked, confusion sometimes arises from the fact that the attacker in an offside position would not have been penalized for offside if the ball had not rebound to him or her in this passage of play.

The approach taken by most match officials is to wait and see. In these circumstances it may appear that the official is late or slow in signaling the offence, but in reality he or she has taken all the evidence presented to him or her, applied the knowledge and understanding of the criteria and come to a balanced decision. This may have included the fact that the player was not initially involved in active play and therefore no signal was given. It is almost universally accepted that, if there is any doubt, then the balance of doubt is given to the attacker.
We have addressed the specific instances in separate correspondence. The purpose of this communication is solely to provide an extended discussion of the elements from Law 11 that we have applied in responding to requests for “rulings”regarding specific offside incidents. We also hope that you actively (rather than “passively”) discourage the use of the phrases “passive offside” and “active offside” as they are not part of the Law and only lead to confusion. If you have any points or queries you wish to raise on this paper, please do not hesitate to contact us.

INJURED DEFENDER AT OFFSIDE SITUATION

Question:
I was having an argument with a referee friend and the question at hand was: if the second last defender of red team is lying on the field due to an injury or slipping(legs closer to his goal line, if it makes any difference) and an attacker from the blue team receives the ball from his team-mate being behind the third-last defender but not after the second-last which is still lying on the ground, is it an off-side? He said it would be, because the defender on the grass is injured so he does not count.

USSF answer (January 27, 2012):
The Law does not discriminate between players on their feet and those on the ground. The defender lying on the ground would count as one of the opposing players in the offside situation. However, if the player who received the pass was not beyond the second-last opponent, then he was not offside.

WHEN DOES “INVOLVEMENT” BEGIN?

Question:
I have been seeing AR’s call offside, with the center accepting it, in what I think is a too early of a call. I have read the August 24, 2005 position paper on offside and am still unclear, and I hope you can clarify this for me. Here is the situation: Player in an offside position near midfield and there is a long and possibly angled through ball. The OSP takes off after it with defenders in pursuit and the flag gets raised immediately. I agree with this if the ball is going toward the keeper and there is concern about a collision. I also agree with it if you know the ball is going to stay in the field of play and the OSP is obviously the player who is going to get to the ball first, or at least be able to immediately pressure a defender who might beat him to the ball. But what I’m talking about are the times when it is very possible the through ball might end up across the end line or go across touch. I know we are suppose to keep the flag down if there is the possibility of an on-side player reaching the ball first, but it also seems we should wait for actual involvement if we are not certain if the ball was going to stay in bounds. It has been explained to me (by experienced refs) that offside should be called because it would be more advantageous to the defending team to have a free kick near midfield than a goal kick or a throw-in. To me that seems to be faulty logic. If the OSP did give chase, without an offside call, and the ball goes across the end line the restart would be a goal kick. Which would be the same restart had the OSP failed to give chase. If the movement of the OSP had no effect on the ability of the defense to reach the ball, then the movement of the OSP had no effect on end result of the ball crossing the end line, i.e. there was no involvement. To make a premature offside call in this type of situation seems to unfairly penalize the attacking team by giving the defense a free kick near mid-field as oppose to a goal kick, or possible a throw-in. Can you let me know how to call these types of plays?

USSF answer (January 12, 2012):

You yourself had the answer when you said “The OSP takes off after it with defenders in pursuit ….” That is the exact and precise moment the AR’s flag should go up and play be stopped for an offside violation. Everything in your scenario after this quote is pure sophistry and dithering as to the intent of everything that has been written about offside since the International Board issued its three definitions of what constitutes an offside violation (interfering with play, interfering with an opponent, and gaining an advantage). 

The question would have been a lot tougher if every defender had simply stood there while the OSP attacker had begun his run downfield, but they didn’t. They pursued. That pursuit alone constitutes “interfering with an opponent” because, according to the International Board, the OSP attacker has acted to distract or deceive one or more opposing players.

FLAGGING FOR OFFSIDE; TOUCHING THE BALL

Question:
I’m a grade 8 soccer referee.

Two weeks ago I was assistant referee in a semifinal. We didn’t have pre-game.

In the first time the attacking team passed the ball to an attacker in a offside position, who ran to get the ball, but the goalkeeper caught the ball before. Because I considered that the attacker was interfering with the goalkeeper, I raised my flag, but the referee didn’t whistle any, and I needed to get down my flag.

In the resting time, the referee told me that I don’t needed to raise the flag until the ball were touched.

In the second half happened a similar situation: the attacker team passed the ball to an attacker in a offside position, I didn’t raise my flag waiting “the 3 seconds” (and remembering the referee waring in the resting time), then the goalkeeper tried to catch the ball, but he failed. Instead, the ball “squeeze” between his hands and felt down to the grown behind of him. Then the attacker kicked and score: I rise up my flag in the moment when the attacker touched the ball!

What do you think about this embarrassing situation?

I understand that my first priority assignment like an assistant referee is to show when an offside position is an infraction raising my flag.

What do you recommend to me (like assistant and like the referee)?

Thanks!

USSF answer (December 20, 3011):
We are concerned about two points in your question, both of which show a lack of knowledge about offside:
1. That is incorrect. This position paper of 2005 should clarify the matter of touching the ball for you and your colleague.

From the U.S. Soccer Communications Center:

To: State Referee Administrators
State Directors of Referee Instruction
State Directors of Referee Assessment
Chair, State Referee Committee
National Referees, Assessors and Instructors

From: Alfred Kleinaitis
Manager of Referee Development and Education

Re: Law 11 – Offside
IFAB advice on the application of Law 11, Decision 2

Date:  August 24, 2005

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) revised Law 11 (Offside) effective 1 July 2005 by, among other things, incorporating definitions of what it means to “interfere with play,” “interfere with an opponent,” and “gain an advantage by being in an offside position.” The USSF Advice to Referees section of Memorandum 2005 ended its discussion of the addition of these three definitions by noting:

Referees are reminded that the reference to “playing or touching the ball” does not mean that an offside infraction cannot be called until an attacker in an offside position actually touches the ball.

Because of recent developments which appear to focus on “touching the ball,” there has been some confusion about the above statement. “Touching the ball” is not a requirement for calling an offside violation if the attacker is interfering with an opponent by making a movement or gesture which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts that opponent. What the International Board has recently emphasized is that, in the unlikely event an attacker in an offside position is not challenged by any opponent, the attacker should not be ruled offside unless and until the attacker physically touches the ball.

This emphasis is both simple and easily implemented:

• An attacker in an offside position who is not challenged by any opponent and not competing for the ball with a teammate coming from an onside position who could, in the opinion of the officiating team, get to the ball first should not be ruled offside for interfering with play or gaining an advantage unless that attacker actually touches the ball. In a close race between an onside and an offside attacker, it would be necessary to see which player touches the ball before deciding if an offside offense has occurred.
• An attacker in an offside position whose gestures or movements, in the opinion of the officiating team, cause an opponent to challenge for the ball has interfered with an opponent and should be ruled offside whether the attacker touches the ball or not.

The International Board issued a Circular on August 17, 2005, which reaffirmed the above approach. As the Board stated (emphasis added): “A player in an offside position may be penalized before playing or touching the ball if, in the opinion of the referee, no other teammate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.” Further, “If an opponent becomes involved in the play and if, in the opinion of the referee, there is potential for physical contact, the player in the offside position shall be penalized for interfering with an opponent.” Finally, the Board confirmed the requirement that the indirect free kick restart for an offside offense is taken “from the initial place where the player was adjudged to be in an offside position.”

All referees, instructors, and assessors should review these guidelines carefully. It is important that officials understand and handle the offside offense in a correct, consistent, and realistic manner. Personal interpretations which differ from the approach outlined here can only cause confusion and hard feelings on the part of players, team officials, and spectators.

USSF will shortly distribute to the state associations and place on its website a PowerPoint presentation incorporating this clarification.

2. There is no “three-second rule” for offside. The second situation was indeed offside and you were correct to flag for the offense.

PASSING TO ONESELF CANNOT RESULT IN OFFSIDE

Question:
During recreational tournament play, red team player A was within 10 yards of both the near touch line and midfield in a clearly offside position, returning to his half. Red team player B on the far touch line, on his own defending half of the field, took possession of the ball and turned down that line. As he approached the midfield line but before he crossed, he pushed the ball long, and blew past the blue defenders on the midfield line. His next touch on the ball was 25 yards later, stopping it from crossing the far touch line with a turn in on goal. There were no other red players in the vicinity.

Red player A had reversed course on the near touchline during this time and headed for the blue box, initially a little ahead of the ball, not interfering with any play or players, putting himself in a potentially advantageous position for a rebound off the keeper but not obstructing the keepers movement or view. Upon Red B touching the ball, the AR put his flag up, signaling an offside offense. The whistle was immediately blown, no shot was taken and the blue team was awarded a free kick from the spot that Red B touched the ball. The coach questioned the call from the sideline, and the center pointed to the red player A on the near sideline. The kick was taken by blue.

Well after the game, in the concession area well away from the field, the center explained to the coach in a friendly conversation that any touch of the ball that puts the ball outside a radius that is immediately playable without movement by the player in possession is a loss of possession and therefore a play or pass if touched next by the same team. Even in the case of a lone dribbler who is not careful to keep the ball at her feet, movement down the field would be considered a series of passes to herself. So regardless of Red A’s involvement or even position at the time of play, Red B had committed an offside offense by passing to himself.

My understanding is that 1) you can’t make a pass to yourself 2) if you could make a pass to yourself, making the pass from your own half would preclude any offside offense (absent other interference or advantage) 3) even if you are alone against an undefended goal in the attacking half of the field, there can’t be offside offense so long as you are behind the ball and playing forward to yourself 4) so long as any player in an offside position does not interfere with play or with players, and does not gain an advantage from his position, there is no offense.

Can you pass to yourself?

Is “loose dribbling” a loss of possession?

Stipulating to the description above, is there any interpretation of the scenario that is an offside offense?

USSF answer (December 6, 2011):
It would seem that your referee had visited a different sort of concession area before the game as well and had consumed some sort of illegal substance while there, as his/her judgment was clouded and a great lack of knowledge was on display for all to see. We do not need referees who make their own interpretation of the Laws.

Yes, a player can pass to himself and CANNOT and MUST NOT be called for offside in such a case. Passing to oneself is perfectly legal and within the Law: the Law specifies that the ball must be played to a teammate and a player cannot be his or her own teammate. “Loose dribbling” is not a loss of possession. No, there is no offside in this case.

FOUL OR OFFSIDE?

Question:
I had a situation last weekend in a local Div. 1 men’s league game. An attacker, in the offside position was fouled by a defender before he was ruled as “offside” by my AR. At the moment of the foul I blew the whistle and indicated an offside offense had occurred. Naturally, the attacking team was unhappy that their player had been fouled and the defensive team received the free kick. Does being fouled while in an offside position indicate “involvement” in the play?

USSF answer (November 15, 2011):
We are confused. The problem in answering is that so much depends on whether you or any referee realize(s) that the description of the sequence of events controls the answer..

In the scenario as described, the attacker in the offside position was fouled “before he was ruled offside by my AR,” but does that mean the AR didn’t see any touch of the ball until after the foul occurred? If so, then the foul clearly occurred first, It takes precedence, it determines the restart, and there was no offside offense because the attacker’s touch of the ball (“interfere with play” happened after play was stopped. If the description means that the AR was about to raise the flag for an offside offense that hadn’t happened yet (because the attacker hadn’t yet interfered with play) — an all too likely possibility — then again the result should be that there was no offside offense and only the foul is relevant here.

The only way we can see the offside being called and taking precedence over whatever the defender did is if the ball was passed to the attacker, the attacker made contact with the ball (interfered with play and hence committed an offside violation), and THEN was “fouled” by the defender; but of course it wasn’t really a foul because play stopped with the offside offense (if the referee accepts the AR’s flag) and so the defender can, at most, only be punished for misconduct.