Letter to the Editor: Interpreting laws of the game of football

Letter to the Editor: Interpreting laws of the game of football

Football does not have rules but instead laws which govern what is allowed on the field of play. Laws are written so as to be interpreted depending on the circumstances pertaining to a particular event.

How peculiar then was it to witness a referee deem that Moussa Sissoko deliberately handled the ball in the Champions League final. What was Sissoko trying to prevent by deliberately handling the ball?

Mane appeared to play an elevated ball backwards into an area where Mo Salah had four Spurs players in front of him. Furthermore, Sissoko first raised his hand outside the box in an effort to organise his defence.

Any reasonable interpretation of the law would indicate that a deliberate act of handball in such an instance would have been mere folly and, in effect, did not occur. Alas, the referee was incapable of applying the laws of the game correctly.

But what’s this, apparently, Roberto Rosetti, Uefa’s chief refereeing officer, provided some clarity in January. According to former referee Mark Halsey, Mr Rossetti provided some criteria to apply “regardless of whether the act was deliberate or not”.

How very interesting but utterly irrelevant. Not a single word of the laws of the game as determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the governing body, changed prior to the final.

Indeed Uefa clarified that new laws, including an updated law governing handball, would not apply until June 25.

In any event, did Mr Rossetti advise referees to ignore the laws of the game and the deliberate act of handball in January? Or is Mr Halsey mistaken in his summation of that briefing?

If the former, this would be a serious matter with Mr Rossetti and his referees usurping the IFAB as guardian of the laws of the game.

Referees are tasked with enforcing the laws of the game not making them. Maybe a journalist might investigate it more. The integrity of the beautiful game demands it.

Patrick Keating

Ballingarry

Co Limerick

This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 5 June 2019.

More on this topic

Letter to the Editor: Sallins train robbery miscarriage of justiceLetter to the Editor: Sallins train robbery miscarriage of justice

Letter to the Editor: State must legislate for commercial sector ratesLetter to the Editor: State must legislate for commercial sector rates

Letter to the Editor: Climate plans show little compassion for the elderlyLetter to the Editor: Climate plans show little compassion for the elderly

Letter to the Editor: Data is the new oil but doesn’t help humanityLetter to the Editor: Data is the new oil but doesn’t help humanity

More in this Section

Humans aren't designed to be happy – so stop tryingHumans aren't designed to be happy – so stop trying

New wave of smart cities has arrived - and they're nothing like science fictionNew wave of smart cities has arrived - and they're nothing like science fiction

Boris Johnson’s transition team poses a threat to British soft powerBoris Johnson’s transition team poses a threat to British soft power

820m people facing starvation - More than two billion go hungry820m people facing starvation - More than two billion go hungry


Lifestyle

Garbage offered a pop twist on grunge’s maximalist angst when they materialised in a dramatic swirl in the mid-Nineties. Like a candy-cane Nirvana, they were bleak and baroque but with tunes you could hum in the dark.Garbage's return to Dublin well worth the wait

Circle back to fashion's hottest retro print, says Annmarie O'Connor.Trend of the Week: Circling back to fashion's hottest retro print

Ever wondered what it would be like to move lock, stock and barrel into a tiny home, like the ones on Netflix’s Tiny House Nation?Are you ready to join the tiny-house movement?

Kya deLongchamps reports back on the performance of her photovoltaic array and wonders if it could handle the addition of an electric carDIY: Get ready for a natural high

More From The Irish Examiner