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Designer hits back at claims that offside diagram on new 50p Olympics coin is '17 years out of date'

The designer of a 50p Olympics coin has rejected claims that the illustration of the offside law on the coin is 17 years out of date.

A senior referee criticised the diagram on the coin, saying it is based on a previous version of the offside law - from the last century.

Referees Association member Mal Davies says the design completely ignores a key factor of the offside law.

"The 50p coin shows a player being penalised for being in an offside position," said Davies.

"The illustration would have been correct before 1995, when the International FA Board amended the Offside Law to 'It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position'.

"Assistant referees on the line used to flag immediately in the coin’s illustration but now they are asked to wait and see and only flag if the player in the offside position has become involved in active play.

"Did they bother to check the illustration was correct? Putting over the interpretation from the last century is embarrassing."

But the coin's designer, Neil Wolfson, has defended the illustration.

"Mal Davies says the 50p coin shows a player being penalised for being in an offside position, but it doesn't," said Wolfson.

"The coin doesn't show the 'offside' player being penalised. And nowhere on the coin does it say that the 'offside' player is committing an offence, either."

He added: "The coin simply states that the player is 'offside' - which is true, irrespective of whether or not an 'offside offence' results from this scenario."

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