I am disappointed to announce that my favorite player, Zinedine Zidane, was a supporter of the 2022 Qatar bid. Not only did he support the bid but he campaigned for it…and was paid a hefty sum of money. The agreement was Zidane would receive 3 million dollars for allowing his name to support the Qatar bid. And if Qatar won the bid then he would receive 15 million. Not a bad pay cheque for doing relatively nothing.
The offside rule is the one rule everybody seems to kind of understand. However, taking the time to study this rule in detail is very important because it can be the difference between a goal and no goal.
The official rule is published in the Laws of the Game written by IFAB (International Football Association Board) and published by FIFA (International Federation of Association Football — French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association). The law states:
if a player is in an offside position when the ball is touched or played by a team mate, he/she may not become actively involved in the play. A player is in an offside position if he/she is closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender, but only if the player is on his opponent’s half of the field.
Differentiating a player who is “actively involved” and not, has caused much debate. FIFA has been trying to re-interpret the rule to increase goal-scoring. In any case, the rule currently explains that a player will be in an offside position if three factors are met:
1. Player must be in the opposing teams half of the field;
2. Player must be in front of the ball; and
3. There must be fewer than 2 opposing players between the player and opposing goal line – the goalie counting as one of these players.
How do you know if you’re in an Offside Position
The Laws of the Game says that if any part of the players head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent (the last opponent typically being the goalkeeper), he/she is in an offside position. The arms are not included in this definition. Basically, any part of the attacking player mentioned above has to be past the part of the second-last defender closest to his goal line (excluding the arms) and past the part of the ball closest to the defenders’ goal line.
Still confused? Don’t worry. This has been a topic FIFA has had trouble defining for many years. Watch this video below by St. John’s University coach Dr. Dave Masur as he visually breaks-down the offside:
While watching the FIFA 2010 World Cup, teams and players are committing errors that they would normally not do at club level. There are moments of brilliance followed by moments of complete mental lapse and selfishness. The problem at the top level is that good teams will punish you for your errors and often times it is the smallest detail that will determine whether you win or lose. No matter your level of play, whether you’re playing in the world cup or college level, each of us can take away from this and learn not to make the same errors.
This year’s world cup has brought many things; excitement, drama, heart wrenching disappointment and of course CONTROVERSY.
As a long-time advocate of technology in sport, it amazes me how the soccer powers that be, still fail to embrace the 21th century. Why leave to chance a botched call that can be so easily resolved by a 10 second review of the game.
As one commentator put it, “the American dream has come to an end.” The men’s US nation soccer team fell out of the 2010 World Cup in the round-of-16. Once the dust settles, there are many questions to be answered: did the US exceed expectations or fall short? Where does US soccer rank in comparison to the top teams in the world? Finally, what conclusions can be drawn about US soccer and, ultimately, North American soccer?
You want the good news or the bad news? Let’s start with the bad news…
You’ve likely heard of the EUFA Champions League and know a little about it but many young players do not know how it works or the importance of it. The EUFA Champions League is often referred to simply as “The Champions League.” It is the biggest year around tournament for the best European soccer clubs.