France were crowned in the UEFA Nations League, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, by defeating Spain 2-1. The second goal, scored by the attacker Kylian Mbappé when there were only a handful of minutes left, he unleashed a real controversy and even today the discussions continue in Europe for the ruling endorsed by English referee Anthony Taylor.
With ten minutes remaining, Mbappé received an assist from Theo Hernández and masterfully defined before the departure of goalkeeper Unai Simón. But when Hernández’s pass started, Leo Messi’s partner in Paris Saint-Germain was in an advanced position. However, as referee Taylor explained, the action was validated because the Spanish defender Eric García diverted Hernández’s ball slightly, enabling Mbappé.
Mbappé defines before the departure of Unai Simón and the controversy is unleashed (Jonathan Moscrop /)
The decision took by “surprise” even the coach of France, Didier Deschamps, who embraced the legality of both ensuring that with the “regulation in hand” the goal was well validated. But he also acknowledged his “strangeness” by what happened. “If you know the rule well … I didn’t know her”, Expressed the French DT, according to the Spanish media.
The Spanish players, surprised after the referee’s explanation, showed their frustration at the end of the match. “A defender can never get away from the play in his life,” said one of the great protagonists of the action, Eric Garcia. César Azpilicueta went further: “The referee does not make the decision, the VAR decides and that is difficult for me to understand.”
The definition of the French Kylian Mbappe in the final of the UEFA Nations League against Spain, which sparked so much controversy. (Massimo Paolone /)
Sergio Busquets, captain of Spain and chosen as the best player in the final, continued to be surprised by the reason why France’s second goal was validated: “The referee explains to us that Éric García does something to play the ball and that’s why he doesn’t there is offside. But he wants to play the ball because it would have reached Mbappé, who was offside. Has no sense” .
As the newspaper replied Mark, from Spain, Bruno Derrien, former French referee, was forceful in the RMC medium despite ensuring that the goal was legal. “We can consider that the spirit of the game can be violated, that this rule is stupid. It is not an arbitration error but the rule is heartbreaking and perhaps it should be changed. “
Mbappé’s goal: the controversial move
English Sky Sport commentator Gary Lineker advanced along the same lines. “A new offside law to replace the absurd offside law,” he complained. It was always a bad idea for the referees to decide the rules of the game instead of just refereeing. “
The rules dictated by the IFAB (The International Football Association Board), the body that governs the laws of the game, are clear: “It will be considered that a player in an offside position has not taken advantage of said position when he receives the ball from an opponent who voluntarily plays the ball, including the voluntary hand, unless it is a ‘save’ by an opponent ”.
Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappé celebrate the PSG attacker’s goal in the UEFA Nations League final between France and Spain. (Luca Bruno /)
Former French international referee Joël Quiniou told AFP that the decision is a good one. “García, who tried to play the ball, who touched it and diverted it from his path, enabled Mbappé. It cannot be considered to be an unintentional gesture ”.
“It’s a school case,” said Bertrand Layec, also a former soccer referee, for the same agency. “In the positional phase, Mbappé is offside, but from the moment the defender deliberately plays the ball, he is back in play. You can agree or disagree with the rule, but it was applied correctly ”.
“I’m dying to talk, but I’m not going to play this game,” he said. Spanish coach Luis Enrique about the controversy of the French goal. However, he held back: “Since I’ve been a coach, more than ten years, I don’t think there is anyone who has heard me speak ill of the referees.” Undoubtedly, there will be more chapters, opinions and requests that the rule be revised.