Why Ziyech’s goal in Belgium vs. Morocco needed VAR on-field review

Milan transfer target Hakim Ziyech saw his goal disallowed for Morocco against Belgium at the World Cup using a VAR on-field review, in what is a textbook example of how the technology is applied.

Ziyech curled a free kick directly into the box, only skimming – but not touching – the heads of two fellow teammates.

One of those two players was in an offside position when the free kick was taken.

As he did not touch the ball, but was standing directly in the way of Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, he was certainly interfering with play.

That was an easy call to make, but the VAR could make it independently.

This is because while offside is an objective issue, interfering with play is subjective, and therefore must be evaluated by the referee himself with a VAR on-field review.

There has been some confusion about what exactly VAR can and cannot do, such as a ‘clear and obvious error,’ but that does not apply to offside, only fouls.

Even if it is a matter of inches, even millimetres, that is nonetheless an objective offside position and therefore VAR can intervene to disallow a goal.

If the player does not touch the ball, then that is subjective and VAR cannot make the call.

One Comment on “Why Ziyech’s goal in Belgium vs. Morocco needed VAR on-field review”

  1. Ziyech looked great. CDK unfortunately didn’t do much with his 15+ minutes on the field. We could definitely use the Moroccan on the RW.

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