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Uruguay bites back: Suarez sinks England… but was he offside?

England was left tottering on the brink of elimination from Group D today after mad genius Luis Suarez bit twice to seal a 2-1 win for Uruguay.

And if English fans are feeling sorry for themselves now, wait until they figure out that Suarez’s winner was probably offside.

Photo: Uruguay forward Luis Suarez (centre) blasts the ball past England goalkeeper Joe Hart (right) while defender Tim Cahill watches on.   (Copyright AFP 2014/Luis Acosta)
Photo: Uruguay forward Luis Suarez (centre) blasts the ball past England goalkeeper Joe Hart (right) while defender Gary Cahill watches on.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Luis Acosta)

According to a FIFA amendment to the offside rule last year, a player is offside if a ball “is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside position.”

And, as was the case with Mexico attacker Giovani Dos Santos against Cameroon, Suarez received the ball off a deflection from England captain Steven Gerrard. (Click HERE for footage of Dos Santos’ disallowed item against Cameroon).

The only exception to the rule is: “a player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.”

Suarez and Gerrard are Liverpool teammates but it is stretching it to to describe the Englishman’s deflected header as a deliberate assist.

One might think that FIFA’s decision to insert a clause on a deliberate pass from a player to an opponent defies logic. But this is an organisation that awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and then said it is too hot to play there at the designated time.

Undoubtedly, no one seems to enjoy the taste of controversy more than the gifted Uruguayan.

In Group C, there was a different sort of heartbreaker.

Côte d’Ivoire midfielder Serey Die broke down in tears during the rendition of the national anthem and the UK’s Daily Mail revealed that the player lost his father roughly two hours before kick-off.

Photo: Cameroon midfielder Serey Die broke down in tears during the national anthem.
Photo: Cote d’Ivoire midfielder Serey Die broke down in tears during the national anthem.

In truth, Die’s father died 10 years ago and he was simply overcome with emotion.

“Hello, I just want to say that it’s wrong what they all say,” said Die, via Instagram, that I was moved because of my dad, “but he died in 2004 and it was just the excitement of being in a World Cup and serving my country, Ivory Coast.

“I never thought one day I would be at this level of competition.”

It was the second major hoax to hit the World Cup after an image of Mexico goalkeeper Gabrielle Ochoa with six fingers and a customised glove to match.

Sadly, the holding midfielder was caught in possession for Colombia’s decisive second goal, which came off the boot of clever 21-year-old substitute Juan Quintero.

Côte d’Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi withdrew a visibly distraught Die promptly after his error and Gervinho halved the gap for the African nation with a brilliant solo effort. But, once Colombia does not lose to Japan, Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba can still get to the second round with a point from their final group match against Greece.

For England, the end is nigh.

The “Three Lions” must defeat Costa Rica in its final group match—possibly by two goals—and hope that Italy triumphs against Costa Rica and Uruguay respectively.

Suarez, with one good knee, was unplayable.

He peeled away from his marker to head home an Edinson Cavani cross and, after Wayne Rooney equalised with his first ever World Cup goal, Suarez benefitted from an inadvertent back header from Gerrard to drive past a hapless Joe Hart.

FIFA’s law change suggests that a player in an offside position can no longer benefit from an opponent’s error in that way.

But FIFA law often is not worth the paper it is printed on.

 

Today’s World Cup action

Group D

Uruguay 2 (Luis Suarez 39, 84), England 1 (Wayne Rooney 75)

Group C

Colombia 2 (James Rodriguez 64, Juan Quintero 70), Côte d’Ivoire 1 (Gervinho 73)

Japan 0, Greece o

 

Star of the Day

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez hopped off the sick bed to keep his nation’s World Cup dream alive with a brilliant all-round performance and two clinical finishes in Sao Paulo.

 

Villain of the Day

FIFA’s lawmakers for making the offside rule a clumsy and complex affair… Again!

 

Editor’s Note: FIFA amendment in full:

“Gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball…

That rebounds or is deflected to him off the goal post, crossbar or an opponent having been in an offside position.

That rebounds, is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside position.

A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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87 comments

  1. well even if the rules work or dont work in there favor…expect ma(FIFA) to find a way…but in this case ..licks is licks…but the 1985 atari type goal line technology is the real source of amusement for me…in that case they need to bench from cricket, field athletics and even horseracing to see what the output of the technology should look like…

  2. Yes Sim,they lost like a bowl ah Simmering stew Mango in mih belly.

  3. Philip Ignacio SC, tell me when the next refereeing course is and I’m coming! I find Wayne Caesar, Kester Lendor and Merere Gonzales real quiet on this swinging debate! Lol

  4. Mango, I feel the same way! All I wanted to know is whether or not England lost de match for true.

  5. Alyuh tell me when alyuh is finished with the sermons nah so that we can get back to who else will be going home today from the World Cup. Lol

  6. Lol. Oh gorm Philip… I feel you helped write that damn amendment oui!

  7. Lasana Liburd please remember that it is not a rule it is Laws, amendment to the Law# 11 Offside. There are no rules in Football just Laws and the referee is the Law keeper. Lesson # 1 when I teach! (Runs away laughing)

  8. Regardless, England would have to live with the score. FIFA doesn’t do replays. But I have conceded the debate. The referee followed FIFA’s intention.
    The wording of the whole thing is what created the bedlam. In essence, it is best to ignore the amendment all together. By the old rule, Suarez was clearly onside. The new rule just creates confusion.

  9. Lasana Please go get your referee certification your interpretation is far better than some of us referees who have been doing this for years. In their quest for a more exciting game the FIFA (AKA to please the US fans) boys have made a mess of this law and I said so from their first amendment, I also have a difficult time trying to explain all these to 16 year old kids who are Football players themselves in a two day course where I have to teach all 17 laws plus the unwritten Law 18 – Common Sense. http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/footballdevelopment/refereeing/02/36/01/11/lawsofthegameweben_neutral.pdf

  10. This FIFA video (http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/video/video=2148674/index.html) turns the whole debate into whether the player was deliberately playing the ball in that path or not. So the ref must have ruled that Gerrard was deliberately heading the ball in that direction, which made Suarez onside.
    The law states “rebounds, is deflected or is played to him” when he is in an offside position. But it seems that FIFA didn’t mean that because Gerrard played the ball to Suarez when he was offside and, as we all know, there was no call.
    Now if the law took out “played to him”, it would suggest that Gerrard’s header was not a deflection. And I would counter that it was not deliberate either. Because when a defender deliberate tries to clear but splices the ball, the referee allows the goalkeeper to catch it because it is ruled to be not a deliberate pass.
    I think this was clumsy and caused a terrific debate. Which we clearly lost!
    So the officials might have followed the spirit of the law. But the letter of the law created this debate and found a wide variety of interpretations about what the hell FIFA was getting at.

  11. It means the ref ruled that Gerrard’s back pass was a deliberate action and therefore Suarez’s goal stood. I dispute whether it was a deliberate pass and not a deflection; and I say the letter of the law doesn’t allow either.
    But I accept that this is how FIFA intended for this rule to be used.

  12. I must say they have compiled some good videos though to try and explain it! But why make it so complicated in the good old days you were in an offside position it is offside no questions asked now you have to be a lawyer as well as a referee and the pay is horrible! ENT?

  13. Based on the wording ,in its clumsiness ,the referee was right.

  14. This is only a debate because of clumsy wording, we all know what the spirit of the law was intended to be but as a crushed Englishman who has spent a lifetime of World Cup Football looking to blame other people for England’s failings I gotta say … this isn’t one of those time.

  15. ^^^^ Did you read the amendment to the rule …..steups

  16. Lasana Liburd

    This FIFA video (http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/video/video=2148674/index.html) turns the whole debate into whether the player was deliberately playing the ball in the attacker’s path or not. So the ref must have ruled that Gerrard was deliberately heading the ball in that direction, which made Suarez onside.
    The law states “rebounds, is deflected or is played to him” when he is in an offside position. But it seems that FIFA didn’t mean that because Gerrard played the ball to Suarez when he was offside and, as we all know, there was no call.
    Now if the law took out “played to him”, it would suggest that Gerrard’s header was not a deflection. And I would counter that it was not deliberate either. Because when a defender deliberate tries to clear but splices the ball, the referee allows the goalkeeper to catch it because it is ruled to be not a deliberate pass.
    I think this was clumsy and caused a terrific debate. Which I clearly lost!
    So the officials might have followed the spirit of the law. But the letter of the law created this debate and found a wide variety of interpretations about what the hell FIFA was getting at.
    By the old rule, Suarez is clearly onside. And the new rule? Best to ignore the damn thing as the referee apparently did!

  17. but lasana you trying to pull a sepp or a jack….with this rule change thing or wah….The british airways plane already in manuas fueling to take the team home

  18. The weight of a law is much heavier than the weight of a rule.

    Laws are like the legal version of rules

  19. Also if you need any more interpretations to the Laws please feel free to ask me no charge this will be Pro Bono just for you my friend! And also please enjoy the games today. http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/worldfootball/clubfootball/01/37/04/27/interpretation_law11_en.pdf

  20. Lasana, will there be a ruling on the controversial goal in the next few days? Or does England have to live with the final score?

  21. Kito Johnson

    I think you have this wrong Lasana. He wasn’t in an offside when the keeper kicked long initially…he only went in front of the last defender after having anticipated Gerrard’s mistake. I have scoured all the press here in England today, and nobody has even mentioned the possibility that Suarez was offside– no one in the media, not one ex-player, not one ex-referee…no one. I bet my last pound that had their been a sniff of offside in that goal, then all of England would have been crying bloody blue murder against the villainous Suarez.

  22. See what I said earlier Lasana I told you that it was not clear like it was written by Lawyers. We had a great debate on this Amendment during our instructor refresher this spring and no one could fully agree. It will become more clear to referees as we debate it more this season.

  23. he was not off side it come off a defender head tho stupezzzzz

  24. It is a great debate. And all because of FIFA’s possibly clumsy wording.

  25. Now, was Gerrard’s header a controlled back pass? Or an inadvertent header?
    Should the rule of a back pass to the keeper apply? If a defender makes a controlled pass to his own keeper, it is a free kick to the other side… But if he splices a clearance and the keeper catches it, it is not ruled a deliberate back pass and is allowed with no free kick.

  26. Like Gerrard really want Suarez to stay at Anfield

  27. hahahahaha meh obeah man finally got it right yes England leaving on a jet plane ent, well America will be following them come Sunday and it isn’t me that say that eh, is meh obeah man that say so.