Why Mbappe's goal was not ruled out by English referee in Spain's loss

The official deemed Eric Garcia's touch to have reset the play and played Mbappe onside

Jordi Delgado

France won the UEFA Nations League final against Spain with a controversial late goal from Kylian Mbappe, who was in an offside position when Theo Hernandez passed the ball to him.

Barcelona and Spain centre-back Eric Garcia tried to cut out said pass, sliding into intercept the ball. But while he couldn't stop the ball from reaching its target, he did get a touch on it.

For the referee, that touch was key. Antony Taylor, the official on the pitch, felt that Eric, unopposed, made a voluntary movement towards the ball and deliberately played it, regardless of considering if Mbappe was offside or not. That meant Mbappe was no longer offside.

In this sense, the paragraph in the laws of the game reads: "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."

However, that law can be interpreted differently by different referees. Taylor felt that it mean Garcia's touch nullified Mbappe's previous offside and started a new phase of the game.

It's a law that may have to be changed because Garcia never had control of the ball as he tried to cut out the pass and Mbappe clearly benefitted from taking up an offside position.

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