Men – they just don’t understand the offside rule…

Niall Quinn, the Sky co-commentator, was on the end of a Twitter storm when he questioned whether substitute Glenn Murray was offside when scoring the only goal for Bournemouth at Chelsea.

As one reporter noted, “literally thousands” tweeted that Niall Quinn was creating something out of nothing because clearly Chelsea defender Gary Cahill was on the line and thus several yards in front of Murray (thus playing him onside).

That’s the trouble with men – they just don’t understand the offside rule…!

The rule is quite simple – if you are in front of the ball and in the opposition half, you are offside unless you have two opponents in front of or level with you. It is not an offence to be offside, but an indirect free kick is awarded against you if you ‘seek to gain an advantage’ by so being (exactly when this applies depends on guidance given by the International Board, which can vary each new season).

That’s two opponents, not one! Of course, usually the goalkeeper is one of the two, but in this case the Chelsea goalkeeper was behind Murray (from the Bournemouth point of view). Thus, for Murray to be onside, he needed two Chelsea outfielders in front of or level with him. Cahill was one, but it is far from clear who the other was…

Meanwhile, it’s back to offside coaching camp for thousands of men…


2 thoughts on “Men – they just don’t understand the offside rule…

  1. So a goalkeeper could be offside if he’s ahead of the opposition goalkeeper but In between the last defender and the second to last defender when his opposite number is effectively the third to last defender.

    As a keeper it’s nice to know you can pull the offside trap if the centre back’s out of breath.

    • … in the opposing half he/she could, yes.

      But yes, a keeper defensively could ‘play for offside’, though that’s very risky these days given the guidance on ‘seeking to gain an advantage’.

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