Sports Letters: Offside, ref] Isn't it?

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The Independent Online
Sir: The 'goals' scored on Sunday by Preece and Cantona may have made a few people wonder about the results of 'interpretation' of the laws of the game.

At Selhurst, had the 'goal' come from a more mundane effort by a Wimbledon player rather than a spectacular shot from Eric Cantona, would it, I wonder. Yes, the referee is the man in charge and if he says a player wasn't offside, or if he was it didn't matter then he wasn't and it didn't - even if he was and it did. But the laws of the game are perfectly clear on that matter and a player in an offside position is offside - even if the referee says he wasn't or he wasn't intending to 'interfere with the play.'

Unless there is some consistency in the actions of officials, we shall always have arguments, and the FA may regret giving referees vague advice on interpreting the offside law.

Yours faithfully,


Old Coulsdon, Surrey

21 February