'The worst offside' - can anyone in football really be happy with this decision?

Patrick Bamford's goal being ruled out when his arm was beyond the last defender is a new low for VAR officiating

1:00pm on Sunday 8th November 2020
Paul Macdonald

VAR is a mess and something needs to be done about it.

A revolutionary system brought in to right the wrongs, the 'clear and obvious errors', is instead disallowing perfectly good goals as video referees continue to draw arbitrary lines across a screen.

The latest example is Patrick Bamford's 'offside' goal against Crystal Palace on Saturday in the Premier League. As you can see from the above image, Bamford is pointing to where he wants the ball. Mike Dean, sitting in St George's Park, deemed his armpit worthy of chopping off the goal.

Remember, offside was introduced to ensure that attacking players couldn't gain an unfair advantage on the opposition defenders. What advantage is Bamford gaining here? If Dean paused the screen a fraction of a second later, would the goal have stood?

It's lunacy, over-administration from a group of men more Interested in finding infractions than allowing goals. It's reaching a pivotal moment where the literal integrity of results are being called into question.

Bamford himself said afterwards: "It's ruining the game. I’ve been playing seven years and I don’t understand the rule now. You can’t score with your hand or your arm, so if your hand or your arm is offside, how is that offside?

“The ref, when I asked him, didn’t really know. I’m not just saying that because it’s my goal, I’ve seen many on the TV previously.”

When you've warped the rules beyond all semblance of fairness that the players and referees on the pitch can't Interpret them, you've gone seriously wrong somewhere in the process.

The video referees, in this case Dean, should be made to speak publicly and be held to account for their thought process. Explain to us why you've decided this and how you've reached this point. The anonymity in the decision-making process is perhaps the most concerning thing of all.

VAR has done some good things. It has allowed illegal goals to be ruled out and good goals to be given. But all too often it's the centre of the story for the wrong reasons, and that's the real problem.


VAR represents the first negative change to the offside rule in history

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