World Cup 2022 was never going to start quietly, was it? Ecuador and Qatar had barely played five minutes of football before VAR stuck its oar in.
Enner Valencia could have had a hat-trick, too. The former Everton and West Ham striker scored a penalty after 13 minutes, having been brought down in the area by Saad Al-Sheeb – and he managed to double La Tri’s lead 20 minutes later with a stunning bullet header around eight yards from goal – but it’s the opening finish, ruled out by the seven-strong VAR team, that has caused the most conversation.
Valencia was deemed to be offside after his knee was seen to have strayed over the dreaded line. But it seems not all agreed with the decision…
Been rewinding that Ecuador goal & rewound it & rewound it 🤷️🤷️ Hopefully it’s not our boys on VAR November 20, 2022
You don’t need us to tell you that Kammy has a poor record it comes to spotting refereeing decisions…
Imagine this is your first ever football match and you’re straight into complex interpretations of offside and VAR.November 20, 2022
Given that the goalkeeper was ahead of the last defender at one stage, football fans around the world may well have been explaining to less interested friends that actually, it takes two players to keep the line in an offside.
Mark Goldbridge suggesting something more sinister afoot.
I take it back. You can see he was clearly offside #QATECU pic.twitter.com/UKNJnoUbxyNovember 20, 2022
That’s the kind of line we’d like to see benefit England.
Me looking at the TV screen trying to find the offside Equador player #QatarWorldCup2022 #QATECU pic.twitter.com/jKeLNlWahMNovember 20, 2022
That’s all of us, by the way.
This is how the first offside was justified, which makes it make a little more sense to be fair. pic.twitter.com/hhjVrs05loNovember 20, 2022
Once you see it, it makes more sense.
Now I got it. The player who assists Valencia benefits from an offside position pic.twitter.com/6SSyiQeS2qNovember 20, 2022
This angle is much clearer, too.
That was a clear offside, not sure why people are so easily convinced that a tournament like the World Cup could be rigged, least of all with something as concrete as an offside.November 20, 2022
Others were less sure of corruption.
TV presenter Richard Osman, meanwhile, joking that the penalty could well have been given against Ecuador after all.