Referee Mike Jones caused uproar at St James' Park when he disallowed Cheick Tiote's strike for Newcastle against Manchester City.
It appeared that Jones deemed that Yoan Gouffran -- who was stood in an offside position when Tiote struck the ball -- was interfering with an opponent by distracting Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
This is what Law 11 of the game says about such incidents:
A player is not committing an offence simply by being in an offside position. Active involvement plus offside position is the offence.
While in an offside position, there are three things a player cannot do:
Interfere with play
Interfere with an opponent
Gain an advantage by being in an offside position
Interfering with an opponent is defined as:
- preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball. For example, by clearly obstructing the goalkeeper's line of vision or movement
- making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent -- the opponent must be reasonably close to the play so that the blocking, deceiving or distracting makes a difference.