Jamie Vardy scored what could well be the easiest goal of his career against this weekend as a monumental Lucas error gave him a simple tap-in from a couple of yards out.
Luckily, an explosive second half performance saved the Brazilian’s blushes — BUT, the goal should not have been allowed.
Because, according to the laws of the game, no play can enter the area before the ball has left it — and Shinji Okazaki did just that.
You can see it in the image below:
As such, referee Craig Pawson should have disallowed the goal and the goal kick should have been retaken.
The FIFA rule book is perfectly clear in its explanation. Law 16 states the following:
“The ball is in play when it leaves the penalty area, and opponents must be outside the penalty area until the ball is in play.”
“If an opponent who is in the penalty area when the goal kick is taken touches or challenges for the ball before it has touched another player, the goal- kick is retaken.”
Perhaps we should forgive Craig… After all, it’s not like a referee should have a perfect knowledge of the rules, it’s not like it’s their job or anything…!