Owen: “A lot of strong views expressed after that goal, Howard. Explain why that was the correct decision in law.”

Webb: “The goal was disallowed for an offside offence interfering with an opponent. In this case, Chirewa of Wolverhampton Wanderers in the line of vision of the goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski. You can see there on the footage that is really close proximity to Fabianski right in front of him and in an offside position. He positions himself there from the corner but doesn’t get back into an onside position when Kilman heads the ball forward. He remains offside and he’s therefore penalised for that offence.”

Owen: “Somebody like me that likes seeing goals would say that the goalkeeper’s never in a million years going to save that regardless of if someone’s in his line of vision or not. Does that not wash in terms of when a referee’s trying to decide whether it’s onside or offside?”

Webb: “We’re certainly not here to try to take goals away if we don’t need to, but we are pretty consistent here and all over the world in terms of how we judge these types of situations. When you have an offside position player so close in front of the goalkeeper, the established understanding on these is that it has some impact on the ability of the goalkeeper to react. We don’t want to be in a world of making judgements of how good the goalkeeper is. Sometimes the ball’s quite close to the goalkeeper, sometimes further away. How quickly that goalkeeper normally reacts, how good he is at making those saves is not something that we really want to judge. We can judge the factual matter of the fact that Chirewa is in the line of sight, the goalkeeper really close, really in front of him and also in an offside position. Therefore when we see these situations we expect them to be penalised every time.”

Owen: “Can you understand why people would get frustrated in that scenario? Most of me says, ‘Yeah, it is offside, but it was a really good goal.’ Can you understand that or do you have to be hard with the law?”

Webb: “I think we want consistency don’t we? And we want people to understand through an expectation of what will happen in certain circumstances. We’ve seen other examples like this in Burnley against Manchester United this season. Crystal Palace, Burnley, almost the same situation where goals are disallowed. And of course, I understand the frustration. This is the last minute. This is an equalising goal that is then celebrated and then through the VAR intervention taken away. But it is in line with the way the laws of the game are applied all over the world. If you stay in that offside position right in front of the goalkeeper, you’re going to have an impact. And most goalkeeping people I’ve spoken to at least expect this

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