Former FIFA referee gives his view on disallowed Ceballos’ goal

Former FIFA and Premier League referee Keith Hackett has given his view on Dani Ceballos’ disallowed goal against Fulham.

The Spaniard headed in what should have been the game’s opener, but upon VAR review, they chopped the goal off for an offside call against Bukayo Saka.

It wasn’t a decision that delighted Arsenal fans and it was one of the talking points of VAR in another weekend of Premier League games.

The technology has continued to make inconsistent decisions and this was one of them.

Hackett wasn’t happy that they ruled the goal out and he says it was sad that they chalked it off because of VAR.

He argues that drawing the lines makes little sense and it would be better if we just operate on a clear and obvious error with offside calls.

He went on to add that one thing we have to keep in mind is that the technology involved isn’t perfect.

“I think it’s sad that a goal like that is ruled out because of the nonsense application of VAR and its lines,” Hackett told Football insider.

“Teams and supporters deserve to see goals. MLS has confirmed for this season again that lines will not be used.

“It’s a tight call but why don’t we just operate clear and obvious for offside? It’s my opinion, but a good goal has been ruled out. It shouldn’t have even been reviewed. 

“If I was a manager of a team I’d say to players ‘Don’t wear white boots’.

“Roy Keane can be sarcastic in his comments but he says it’s clearly offside. OK, I don’t believe that.

“I believe that if you look closely, you’ve got a heel ahead of the opponent if you look that closely.

“But what Roy Keane is forgetting is that the actual system that brings up those lines and the photograph is flawed.”

Tags Dani Ceballos


  1. McLovin says:

    We got goal ruled offside against Prague and answered that with 3 quick goals. Should’ve buried Fulham in a similar way.

    1. Tumisi Paul Matshaba says:

      Roy Keane is a bitter old man, just forget about him. I think the rules of offside should be changed to if a player’s body is fully on its own or half of his body, not a toe or an elbow. The people manning VAR I dont think have played soccer before.

      1. Ken says:

        Referees wether in field or VAR are same,none loves Arsenal.

        1. Gily says:

          Agree 100%.

          Some of them pretend otherwise but we know better.

          I wouldn’t have problem with the rules if they were consistent and applied to every team. It is only when Arsenal and few other hated teams are involved, they want to apply the rules to the letter.
          Worse some crazy fans who have issue with the manager want to supports them, summersaulting the reality

    2. siamois says:

      Spot on we didn’t win because of that disallowed is just another excuse/distraction.

      1. Gily says:

        Big teams don’t score a lot of goals all the time. On such days, cancelling their hard earned goal can result in them either losing or sharing points..
        This you should bear in mind.

  2. Otavie Ozi says:

    Arsenal FC had suffered more offside call by VAR in d Epl than any other clubs dis season since it’s Introduction.

  3. Tactical Gunner says:

    Fatigue was involved in several ways.. Moreover the ref-ing crew was the as those we faced at Wolves.. The types that can see a toenail from 1000 miles away

  4. Ken says:

    Referees wether in field or VAR are same,none loves Arsenal.

  5. Grandad says:

    The refs are obliged to refer to VAR with its technology flaws which may never be erradicated.VAR is not the problem, but the current offside rule is and needs to be changed as advocated recently by Arsene Wenger.At a time when massed defences are the norm, the attacking side has to get the benefit of any doubt as all fans pay money to see goals.

    1. Trudeau says:

      Agree but wont solve these silly delays whilst hidden referees in a bunker get the slide rule out to detect whether someone’s big toe was level or 1mm in front of the last defender.

      VAR should only be used to identify clear and obvious mistakes, not mistakes that are invisible to the human eye.

      1. Ken says:

        Hahaha😂😂🤣 you made my day mate

  6. A J says:

    Offside should incorporate the “Clear Daylight” rule regarding the players involved.

    Offside = CLEAR & OBVIOUS DAYLIGHT between the players involved.

    However, where there is obvious “overlapping” parts of the body the goal should not be ruled offside, and be given.

    Now if you want to complicate this slightly (oh here we go), the “Wenger Rule” could apply.

    If the “overlap” (between attacker & defender) involves a part of the body you cannot score a goal with (this would be the hand / arm) offside should be given, with the goal being disallowed.

    Too simple perhaps ?

  7. paul35mm says:

    People need to take their partisan blinders off and accept that, while disappointing, Saka was offside and the goal was correctly ruled out. Offside by a foot or offside by a yard, is still offside. It hurts that Arsenal are having a poor season and struggling against a team like Fulham that is going to be relegated hurts, but VAR was introduced to make these types of calls more accurate and in this case, it worked.

    The truth is, Arsenal’s equalizer could have been ruled offside as well. As Ceballos shoots, Rob Holding was a full yard offside, two meters from the keeper, easily within his field of vision. He did not touch or play the ball, but being that close, and visible to the goalkeeper, he could have been ruled off side as affecting the play.

    Arsenal were lucky to get a draw, given the overall lack of quality in the performance. Rather than blame VAR for the failure, we need to accept that this team is just not playing well enough to win important games. A draw against Fulham being the only thing between Arsenal and 10th in the league says a lot more than a correct VAR decision, about Arsenal’s final season in the Premier League.

    1. TMan says:

      You just sounded like a Man u supporter

    2. Henry Lwanga says:

      I think yo just don’t know what yo talking about ,u just want to sound like you know something but i don’t think u know know anything, we played well due to the fact that many big players were rested and i want u to know that a goal can change the whole game results and by affecting the planned game plan , we wanted to score first and kill the game ,but due to incompetent referees, u can c what happened

    3. Martian says:

      Arsenal has been poor for most of this season thats for sure, but you have to also examine your definition of a good performance. Must we always win by 3+ goal margin to qualify as a good performance? Close games happens all the time in football.

      There are days where by you can do everything well and you might not have the result go in your favour which is very normal in football as had happen to us several times this season, heck even almighty Bayern Munich suffered that fate in their first leg against PSG where despite their overwhelming quality and dominance, they still lost.

      To be denied a goal (and potential victory) by such a fine margin is questionable because like many have said here, the technology isn’t perfect. The action in football happens so fast that the cameras being used are not adequate enough to capture everything in accurate real time.

      The picture they chose to show us on screen and used as the basis of the offside call could easily been replaced by a similar picture 1 frame before where Saka would be perfectly onside. That is the grey area that VAR fails to address therefore putting into question the biases of the referees for choosing the less favourable picture to be judged.

  8. John Shairsingh says:

    I think offsides should be judged on torso position only… Not fingertips and studs and shoelaces… How long do you think it’ll be before someone’s dreadlocks or ponytail either makes them offside, or allow an offside striker to be played onside.

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