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HomeDStv PremiershipNcobo Weighs On Swallows 'Off-Side' Goal Vs Downs

Ncobo Weighs On Swallows ‘Off-Side’ Goal Vs Downs

Former FIFA referee Ace Ncobo has commended referee Jelly Chavani for allowing Gabadinho Mhango’s goal against Mamelodi Sundowns to stand, explaining the laws of the game behind it.

Mhango scored the 2-2 equaliser in Downs‘ last DStv Premiership match last week, which saw coach Rulani Mokwena and others question whether there is VAR in South Africa.

What had happened? Mhango was initially in an offside position before Divine Lunga’s miss placed-header found the Malawi striker who then slotted the ball past Ronwen Williams in their 2-2 draw at Dobsonville Stadium on Monday evening. The assistant referee had raised his flag, but Jelly Chavani opted to give the goal.

Despite the criticism and debates around Chavani’s decision, Ncobo explained why the official made the right call in allowing the goal to stand.

“It’s embarrassing when that happens – when people take classroom dictionary English and use that to interpret the laws of the game,” he said on Extra-Time.

“When we speak of ‘control’ in the laws of the game, we’re not saying the ball is under your foot or stuck on your head, you are in control, there is a possibility you play the ball.

“Was there a possibility to play the ball where you wanted it to go, either to a teammate or to clear it away.

“People talk about ‘back-paddling’ but we don’t have a single page on the word ‘back-paddling’ in the laws of the game. What we look at – did the player have the possibility to play the ball?

“When we look at the clip, it’s a long way for the ball to travel. The distance gives you time, and when the ball hangs like that in the air, it gives you time, so that you can position yourself.

“At that moment, he can clearly see that he is the recipient of the ball. He has enough space and time position himself, adjust his body that when the ball arrives he can decide ‘am I clearing it, or am I heading it back to my teammate’, that’s what he tries.

“When it’s unsuccessful, look at what he does, he holds his face. He knows he had the opportunity to control that ball.

“The assistant referee lifts his flag up, obviously thinking there was a deflection. The referee comes and explains that was deliberate play – the ball comes from a distance, the player knew that the ball was coming, the ball is not moving fast because it hung in the air for quite a while, there is no striker in an offside that interfered or challenged the ball.

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“He had all the time and space to control that ball – controlling means the possibility to play it, you have two choices, either you clear or you pass to a teammate.

“Brilliant refereeing by Jelly Chavani. A spot-on decision. People shouldn’t confuse the audience.”

Sundowns are back in DStv Premiership action on Tuesday evening when they host fourth-placed Sekhukhune United – just three days ahead of their crucial CAF Champions League semi-final second leg against Esperance Sportive de Tunis.

iDiski Times
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