Since expressing just how much I miss the old Telkom Charity Cup, a few things have happened in Mzansi football including, of course, the third annual edition of the Carling Black Label Cup took place this past Saturday.
As with most derbies, every referee decision is bound to be analysed with hawk-eyes by fans and experts alike. This derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs was no different.
This is my take on the most controversial decision of the game:
Kaizer Chiefs won the match 1-0 and were crowned champions of the Carling Black Label Cup due to Lehlohonolo Majoro’s controversial winning goal. Many Orlando Pirates fans still feel that the goal should have been flagged for offside.
Through quoting and paraphrasing the ‘FIFA Laws of the Game’, I will attempt to explain why the goal should NOT have been awarded. (A short clip of the goal below.)
Law 11 (offside) clearly states that a player is judged to be in an offside position if he is nearer to his opponents’ goal than both the ball and the second-last opponent (usually the last opposition defender). The player in an offside position will be penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team mates, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play.
As shown in the clip, at the moment when Bernard Parker heads the ball towards goal, it is clear that Majoro is indeed “nearer to his opponents’ goal than both the ball and the second-last opponent”. In other words, Majoro is in an offside position.
The ball then rebounds off the crossbar and falls to Majoro who – as I see it – gained an advantage from being in a offside position from which he went on to score the winning goal.
Many supporters do not understand what “gaining an advantage” means.
Gaining an advantage, as stated in the Lawbook, happens when an attacking player plays a ball that “rebounds to him off a goalpost or the crossbar having been in an offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position.” In this case, Majoro played a ball that rebounded off the crossbar having been in an offside position when Bernard Parker headed the ball towards goal. According to my understanding of the Law 11, Majoro gained an advantage from being in an offside position.
So, yes, a player is still offside if the ball hits the post or crossbar.
Now, let’s assume that Orlando Pirates keeper, Senzo Meyiwa, had faintly tipped the ball onto the crossbar. Would Majoro still be adjudged to be offside? The answer is a big yes. Majoro still remains offside in such a case.
I am certain that Pirates fans will feel even more aggrieved at this point in time but let’s all remember that referees are human too. They make mistake. Sometimes it’s in your team’s favour, other times not.
I will leave it to the likes of Sylvester Ndaba to further explain (or maybe even correct me) this Monday on South Africa’s most viewed soccer television show, SoccerZone.
That’s the final whistle.
By Thomas Monyepao