Offside guidelines updated after Kylian Mbappe’s ‘deliberate play’ goal

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Offside guidelines have been updated by football lawmakers IFAB after a series of controversial goals in which strikers managed to benefit from being in an offside position – including Kylian Mbappe.

With the most high-profile incident involving the PSG forward in a clash between France and Spain in the 2021 UEFA Nations League final – it involves a defender making a deliberate play for the ball in a bid to cut out a pass to a rival player who is offside.

Because Eric Garcia tried to stop a pass but indirectly set Mbappe through, referee Anthony Taylor allowed the goal to stand and was backed up by VAR.

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UEFA's chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti, who also has a place on the board at IFAB (International Football Association Board), called for an update to the law.

Rosetti insisted that it was not in the spirit of the game to allow an offside player to benefit from the touch of a defender and therefore gaining a huge advantage.

However, the law itself has not been changed but a new list of guidelines have been released in relation to what is considered a deliberate play.

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The include the defender having a clear view of a ball that has travelled some distance, the ball not moving quickly, the direction of the ball being expected, the player having time to coordinate their body movement and that it should be remembered that a ball on the ground is easier to control.

Garcia's touch would now be seen as 'instinctive stretching' rather than a deliberate play – meaning Mbappe's goal in that fixture would no longer stand.

Another controversial offside call came in Real Madrid's Champions League final clash against Liverpool – but that strike from Karim Benzema would still stand.

Peter Walton said of that decision on BT Sport: "It's actually quite easy, Benzema is an offside position and the offence is committed if the ball is played back to him.

"It deflects off Fabinho, he doesn't deliberately play it back to him, so Benzema is not deemed to be onside.

"The offside offence is committed when he receive the ball. It comes off a Liverpool player but Benzema is only played onside if the Liverpool player is deemed to have deliberately played the ball."


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