Liverpool v Chelsea: ex-Premier League referee says rule ‘not fit for purpose’ after VAR disallows Matip goal

Keith Hackett says too many goals are being chalked off under current offside laws including a controversial call from Sunday’s Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

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A former Premier League referee has said that current offside rules are “not fit for purpose” following the controversy surrounding Joël Matip’s disallowed goal in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

The Reds went on to lift the trophy following an 11-10 penalty shoot-out victory but thought they had taken the lead when the former Schalke centre-back headed in following a Sadio Mane assist from a Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick.

The full-back delivered the ball to the back post where the Senegal international headed back across goal for Matip to finish off in the 66th minute.

Virgil van Dijk was involved in the offside decision that saw Joël Matip’s header ruled out by offside Virgil van Dijk was involved in the offside decision that saw Joël Matip’s header ruled out by offside
Virgil van Dijk was involved in the offside decision that saw Joël Matip’s header ruled out by offside

However, VAR intervened and the goal was ruled out following interference from Virgil van Dijk who was in an offside position.

Although the Dutch defender did not touch the ball, he appeared to prevent Chelsea’s Reece James getting a clear run to the back post to challenge Mane and that was enough to overturn what would have been the opener.

“Not fit for purpose” - Keith Halkett slams offside laws following EFL Cup final

Former Premier League referee Keith Halckett spoke to Football Insider following the Carabao Cup final to give his opinion on the decision to chalk off Matip’s goal.

He said: “I think this is the difficulty of the law.

“If you look at the law, you look at the incidents then it is correct. It shows that, in a way, the interference is more technical. These are decisions made on a drawing board more than on a field of play.

“My principles are they are right in law but the law is not fit for purpose.

“What do fans want? Fans want goals, ideally against the opposition. We are seeing a law that is chalking off too many goals.

“The law is not fit for purpose. I think the law regarding the interfering of an opponent, is, frankly, nonsense.”

Matip goal disallowed - fan reaction

The decision proved one of the biggest talking points of the final and may have been even more in the spotlight had Liverpool not gone on to win the trophy.

The immediate reaction on social media seemingly agreed with Halkett’s view and was largely negative towards both VAR and the current offside laws.

@Archibald1010: “The fact Reece James didn’t even call for a foul says it all. Goal should’ve stood and shouldn’t of even made it to extra time never mind penos.”

@Scorpy0n: “Worst refereeing decision I have seen in years. VVD was travelling in the opposite direction and no interference at all. Fortunately justice was done in the end. Liverpool deserved winners!”

@Ian333333: “Van Dijk doesn’t attempt to play the ball, and doesn’t hold James back, James doesn’t appeal because he’s not been fouled! Rudiger is marking Mane and jumps over the ball wheb it’s headed down, shocking decision”

@Darren_jones26: “James has his arm round the back of van dijk. The officials will back themselves up on this but it’s an awful decision”

After the match, Virgil can Dijk also commented on the decision, saying he “doesn’t understand the rule”.