In soccer, the offsides rule is one of the most important and controversial rules. It is designed to keep players from bunching up too close to the opposing team's goal, and to encourage attacking play.
However, the rule is often misunderstood and can be confusing to fans, especially when it results in a goal being disallowed. In this article, we'll explain the offsides rule in simple terms, and look at some of the most controversial moments in its history.
What is Offsides in Soccer? - The Rules
The offsides rule is actually quite simple: a player is in an offside position if he is closer to the opposing team's goal line than both the ball and the last defender.
If the player is in an offside position when the ball is played to him, he can be penalized. The punishment for an offside infraction is usually a free kick, but if the offside player interferes with play or with an opponent, he may be yellow-carded or even red-carded.
What is Offsides in Soccer? - The Pros
Now, let's take a look at some of the most controversial moments in offside history.
One of the most famous (or infamous) offside decisions came in the 2010 World Cup, when England's Frank Lampard had a goal disallowed against Germany. The ball clearly crossed the line, but Lampard was judged to be in an offside position when the shot was taken.
This decision caused widespread outrage, and led to calls for goal-line technology to be introduced in order to avoid such mistakes in the future.
More recently, in the 2016 European Championship, Wales had a goal disallowed against Northern Ireland which would have put them 2-1 up. The decision was very close, but it was eventually decided that Wales' Gareth Bale was in an offside position when the ball was played to him.
What is Offsides in Soccer? - Importance of the Rule
While the offsides rule can be controversial, it is an important part of the game of soccer. It encourages attacking play and prevents players from bunching up too close to the opposing team's goal.
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