Mark Halsey column: Offside rule is an ass but Kylian Mbappe’s goal had to stand in Nations League final

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There’s already been a great deal of debate over the goal which won France the Nations League title on Sunday night, and I don’t really intend to add fuel to the fire.

The law is very clear in the sense that standing in an offside position isn’t an offence in itself. It’s only when a player becomes active or, perhaps, is blocking a goalkeepers line of vision that he’s likely to be flagged or reviewed by VAR.

In Kylian Mbappe’s case, it was the deliberate action of moving towards the ball by Spain’s Eric Garcia which negated the Frenchman’s offside.

I agree that the offside rule in this particular respect is an ass.

But Anthony Taylor was right to award to goal. No amount of haranguing from the senior Spain players would change his mind, simply because, in the eyes of the law, he’d made the correct decision.

I do wonder what would happen in future in the event of a defender trying to head the ball clear, only to mistime his jump and head it backwards.

As the law stands at this moment, the player in the offside position wouldn’t be judged as such, even if it’s subjective as to whether the defender meant to head the ball backwards.

Former Premier League and FIFA referee Mark Halsey is a columnist for
More Stories Cesar Azpilicueta Eric Garcia Kylian Mbappe Mark Halsey Sergio Busquets

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