FOOTBALL fans have vented their frustration on Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and the confusing offside rule following a controversial match decision.
Supporters spoke out on social media after Tottenham Hotspur were denied a late winner against Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Champions League last month, when goal scorer Harry Kane was judged to have been in an offside position.
The controversial decision came in the 95th minute as Emerson Royal headed the ball into the path of a Sporting Lisbon player and Kane put the ball past the keeper. After a lengthy VAR check, Kane was determined to have been in an offside position when Royal initially made the header.
Following the check, Tottenham manager Antonio Conte was sent off for an alleged comment to the referee.
Twitter user @Richard10_YFC said: “That Tottenham goal getting disallowed is everything that’s wrong with the way football is going/gone.”
@rosssanders5 added: “The Tottenham disallowed goal tonight shows how few football fans know the offside rule.”
Speaking to BT Sport, Conte said: “The ball was in front of Kane and that goal is a goal. I don’t understand the line that they put, but it’s very difficult to comment on this decision and I repeat that VAR is creating damage, a lot of damage.”
A Clyde Insider survey, shared on Facebook and WhatsApp groups, revealed that 87.5% of those who responded believe they understand the offside rule. More than 57% said they think that the offside rule needs to be simplified and 27.5% said that close offside decisions should not go to VAR checks.
In response to a question which asked: “Do you understand the offside rule in football?”, one responder said: “Yes, I think so anyway” while another responded: “In its simplest form, yes.”
Twitter users backed up what people had said in the survey by saying that the offside rule does need to be simplified.
@BigAl_1977 said: “If most of the footballing community who understand the rules of football still can’t understand that offside explanation then the rules need to be simplified.”
Fifa 23 content creator, @EaziFut, tweeted: “Only if the touch is intentional (makes a move to play the ball). Offside rule is way more complicated than it should be. Needs to be simplified”.
VAR was brought in to help referees to make the right decisions and ensure that they haven’t made a clear and obvious error.
While this would help make the game fairer for both teams, many football fans, players and coaches have said that they don’t like VAR and it doesn’t always get rid of any debate over whether a call is right.
However, some Twitter users have given ideas on how they think VAR could be improved when dealing with offside calls.
Twitter user, @jack200521, claimed that VAR was brought into the Premier League to fix matches, adding: “What’s the actual point in VAR because from what I’ve seen since it’s been in the prem is it’s another way to match fix and keep the gap from the sky 6 and the rest of the league at a good distance”.
MY VIEW, by Thomas McCaffrey: While most people in football believe they understand the offside rule, this incident shows that either fans need to re-learn the rule or changes need to be made to make the game easier to understand.
- What do you think? Have your say in the comment and reply section below.