Lined with laws, football without law | Soccer | Sports
Football with the four rules died, intuitive, a little elastic and sometimes golf-like, which worked for everyone. Game with simple regulations that came through the skin. The professional soccer player and the kid who was starting to kick the ball understood it equally well. He did not do badly in that unpretentious football that, from time to time, detected a problem and fixed it. When the passing of the ball to the goalkeeper became scandalous, the rule was changed and the game took on a new vitality. It didn’t take a genius to understand the decision and move forward. That time is over. Of the four rules, football has moved on to natural logarithms and no one understands it.
In the last week there have been new cases that explain the general confusion, caused by the massive invasion of rules that have been altering and confusing us for some time now. In the Atlético de Madrid-Feyenoord match, the referee awarded two goals to Morata, who took advantage of two attempts by Saúl and Griezmann. The first was traced to Mbappé’s goal against Spain in the final of the Nations League in 2021. The winning one, in case it was necessary to remember it. Like Eric García that night, a Dutch defender acted on the edge to clear the pass to the player who was behind him, clearly offside. The ball went towards Morata, who scored. The VAR requested the presence of the referee, the Englishman Anthony Taylor. He went to the screen and his decision did not change. Goal.
As a result of Mbappé’s goal against Spain – in an illegal position, he took advantage of Eric García’s very hasty clearance – a monumental debate was opened that the International Board, the papacy of football in refereeing matters, closed shortly after with a circular: “No It is a deliberate play when the defender touches the ball in a forced manner, having to extend his limbs to reach the ball, without time to control his body and the situation.”
Taylor forgot the happy circular in the first goal and confirmed the second, a header from Morata, who took advantage of Griezmann’s illegal position and his obvious intervention in the play. He didn’t touch the ball, but he went to the center. A similar play, sanctioned with a different criterion, occurred in Granada-Barcelona in the disallowed goal for João Félix. The referee, Soto Grado, declared offside due to Ferran Torres’ attempted shot, in a position as illegal as Griezmann’s, although less clear. Opposite decisions for the same play, with the watchful eye of the VAR and a handful of referees in the dark room.
In Atlético-Real Sociedad, Munuera had a problem with his hands: Morata’s in his area and Carlos Fernández’s in his. He declared a penalty in the action of the Real Sociedad player and not in that of Morata. When it comes to hands in the area, God help us, because there is no circular to clarify it. Coaches, players and fans confess their dismay in this mess, presided over by the discredit of refereeing, a growing industry that has found in the VAR the best ally to manipulate football and take it to a state of maximum confusion.
It is a problem of universal scope. In the Premier League there are complaints from the body in charge of managing the VAR for incomprehensible errors, as incomprehensible in England as in Spain, where the elegance of apology is not even practiced in a football that is increasingly covered by laws, but each time further away from the old law, which only had four rules.
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