Video of Denmark 'exploiting the back-pass rule' at Euro 1992 goes viral

  • Rob Swan

Denmark pulled off one of the biggest shocks in international football history when they beat Germany in the final to win the 1992 European Championships.

The Danes weren’t even supposed to be in the tournament, which was hosted in Sweden, but they qualified by default after FR Yugoslavia were disqualified as a result of the breakup and warfare in the country.

Denmark advanced through the group stages in second place behind Sweden – finishing above France and England – before defeating the Netherlands in the semis and Germany in the final.

Goals either side of half-time from John Jensen and Kim Vilfort earned Denmark a famous 2-0 victory in Gothenburg.

In goal for the Danes during the tournament was the legendary Peter Schmeichel, Manchester United’s No. 1 who was 28 years old at the time.

And to mark his 56th birthday on Monday, a rather eyebrow-raising video of the revered goalkeeper exploiting the lack of a back-pass law with his teammates has gone viral.

“On Peter Schmeichel’s birthday it’s worth remembering when Denmark s*ithoused their way to winning Euro 92 by exploiting the pass-back rule so much that it was then changed,” wrote @ElliotHackney.

The 33-second clip sees Schmeichel cynically winding down the clock by passing the ball to his defenders before picking it up again moments later.

Watch it here…

Unsurprisingly, the back-pass regulation was introduced immediately after the tournament which meant that ‘keepers were no longer permitted to pick up a teammate’s pass.

This was a huge change in football and it took some getting used to for the players.

This rather amusing video shows the chaos that ensued during the opening weeks of the 1992/93 campaign which, coincidentally, was also the debut season of the Premier League.

The quality of English football improved significantly following the change in the laws of the game.

Goalkeepers needed to learn how to kick and control the ball – quickly.

Defenders, meanwhile, were forced to improve their technical skills. The ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card that was turning around and playing the ball back to the ‘keeper was no longer available to them.

Now when we look back at footage of old games – like the Euro ’92 final – the sight of goalkeepers picking up pass-backs just looks wrong.

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