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The Rules On Offside Have Been Updated After Kylian Mbappe's 'Deliberate Play' Goal

Josh Lawless

| Last updated 

The Rules On Offside Have Been Updated After Kylian Mbappe's 'Deliberate Play' Goal

The guidelines on offside have been updated to give more clarity on the rules, football's lawmakers have announced.

Back in October 2021, there was huge controversy in the UEFA Nations League final between Spain and France - specifically Kylian Mbappe's winning goal in the clash.


Mbappe latched onto a Theo Hernandez pass in behind and performed stepovers before slotting under Unai Simon.

However, he didn't quite time his run to perfection and had strayed offside when the pass was made.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

But bizarrely, because Eric Garcia had made a play for the ball and got the slightest touch on it, a VAR review deemed the action to have put Mbappe onside.

Anthony Taylor allowed the goal to stand and it meant France went on to win. Spain were furious and and captain Sergio Busquets said the decision "doesn't make sense".

Garcia was also utterly puzzled by the rule, that has not been changed but has seen guidelines updated by IFAB. They have clarified the difference between "deliberate play" and "deflection".

Law 11 states: "A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by: gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has: rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar, match official or an opponent.

"A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including by deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage, unless it was a deliberate save by any opponent."

It is then explained that "deliberate play" is when a player has control of the ball and has the potential to gain possession, pass to a teammate or clear it by kicking or heading.

It doesn't matter if that action or clearance attempt is unsuccessful, they are still ruled to have made the intentional play.

A slew of bullet points have been given to provide indicators of deliberate plays:

  • The ball travelled from distance and the player had a clear view of it
  • The ball was not moving quickly
  • The direction of the ball was not unexpected
  • The player had time to coordinate their body movement, i.e. it was not a case of instinctive stretching or jumping, or a movement that achieved limited contact/control
  • A ball moving on the ground is easier to play than a ball in the air

In the case of Garcia, his action was one of "instinctive stretching" and so Mbappe's goal would have been chalked off.

Featured Image Credit: Image: Sky Sports

Topics: Kylian Mbappe, UEFA Nations League, France, Spain

Josh Lawless
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