The law states that if a player is in an offside position when the ball is played to him or touched by a teammate, he may not become actively involved in the play. 

A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by: interfering with play, interfering with an opponent or gaining an advantage by being in that position

However, there are numerous incidents when the whistle is blown before the player has become involved in play, usually when the opposition is optionally plays the ball out for a corner. 

There are cases when an opposition player is standing directly in front of the goalkeeper in an offside position when a shot is played, prohibiting the keeper from seeing the line of the ball. 

Rarely do we see referees adjudge it offside, and goalkeepers are usually forced to take the blame. 

Another occasion was a league match between Manchester United and Newcastle United. Standing in an offside position, while contacting a Manchester United, Papiss Cisse’s presence put Jonny Evans under enough pressure for him to make a clearance only for the ball to end up in the back of the net. 

While protests flared, Cisse clearly gained an advantage by being in that position and interfered with an opponent. 

Another irritating delinquent is goalkeeper protection. A goalkeeper usually attempts to attack corners and ends up bumping into an opposition player, and sometimes his own. 

On the odd occasion, we see goalkeepers trying to punch the ball, but instead are beaten by the attacking opposition. In his attempts, he misses the ball and punches the player on the head - Isn’t that a foul? 

We can draw the line about carelessness and intent, but most fouls are accidental. So what gives the keeper the right to accidentally misjudge a challenge and not get penalised for it? 

Our third complaint in hazy rules is when a player with the ball, in a foot race with the opposition, runs across the opposition’s line and gets away with a free kick for his team. 

It is bizarre when you look at it from a neutral perspective, but then you hear commentators say ‘the player was clever to run across the defender’ – then it sounds nonsensical. 

Player must play on and stop looking for fouls, like Lionel Messi who never wants to be fouled, and in the end, ends up scoring over 50 goals a season. If a striker wants to be as good as Messi, it starts with fair play.


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