Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford said VAR was “ruining football” after he was harshly denied a goal because of a mystifying offside decision at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Bamford thought he had made it 1-1 with a well-taken finish but his effort was checked by VAR and it was deemed that his arm had been in an offside position when the ball was passed to him.
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He was actually pointing to where he wanted the ball played and because of a change to the handball rule this season his shoulder/armpit was deemed to be in an offside position.
“I don’t understand the rule,” Bamford told the BBC after Leeds’s 4-1 Premier League defeat at Selhurst Park. “You can’t score with your arm. It doesn’t make sense. It’s happened with me today but I’ve seen it on numerous occasions.
Patrick Bramford offside because of the change in the handball law. Because you can now pay the ball with the top part of your arm the outstretched arm played him offside. This was onside last season to the armpit. #CRYLEE pic.twitter.com/EezUHdxIYQ
— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) November 7, 2020
“It’s ruining football. You want to see goals. To have it ruled out for something like that is daft. Even the referee couldn’t make sense of it. When the players and the officials can’t make sense of it… does it make sense?”
It is the latest of many goals that have been chalked off after forensic analysis of offside decisions — jokingly referred to as armpit offsides.
BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage described the decision as incredible.
“His body is onside, he’s pointing to where he wants the ball. The line has been drawn on his arm, where it’s not handball, on his sleeve, that’s what they’re saying is offside,” he said. “That is quite incredible. That is the most unbelievable one we’ve ever seen. Wow.”
Former England striker Gary Lineker said it was ridiculous while there was sympathy for Bamford from Palace manager Roy Hodgson.
“There are so many decisions that everyone wants to contest that are not really correct, so why should this week be any different?” he said. “It’s quite cruel.”
Former referee Peter Walton said the decision had been technically correct.
“The handball law includes that t-shirt area of your body where you can’t be accused of handball,” he told the Yorkshire Post. “Any part of your body that you can score from is offside so unfortunately for Patrick Bamford there he has been caught with the new interpretation of the handball law.”