I’m still scratching my head over how Benzema’s goal in the Champions League final was disallowed

AS Boris Johnson is struggling to convince us that partying during lockdown hasn’t actually broken any rules, perhaps he should bring in Peter Walton to set things straight.

Because if anyone can defend the untenable, it’s BT Sport’s expert referee.

No clear reason was given for Karim Benzema's disallowed goal against Liverpool


No clear reason was given for Karim Benzema’s disallowed goal against LiverpoolPhoto credit: Reuters
Former referee Peter Walton couldn't clearly explain why it was the right decision


Former referee Peter Walton couldn’t clearly explain why it was the right decisionSource: Free for editorial use

I’m still scratching my head to understand how Karim Benzema’s ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside in the Champions League final.

And after Walton was called in to clear things up for TV viewers, it was all clear as mud.

“It’s actually quite simple,” insisted the former Premier League representative, before offering the most complicated explanation imaginable.

And after listening to him rant about Fabinho’s tackle being more of an accidental reverse deflection than a deliberate attempt to play the ball, I only understood one thing.

I don’t know the football rules anymore.

After nearly 40 years of watching and reporting on the sport, that’s quite a confession.

But I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling to understand laws that make a simple game as incomprehensible as cricket and rugby union.

Confirmation of that suspicion came the day after the Champions League final when Huddersfield were denied two penalties during the play-off defeat by Nottingham Forest.

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Their first claim was disputed because Harry Toffolo went down very easily when he brushed Jack Colback’s outstretched leg.

But there was absolutely no doubt Lewis O’Brien was fouled by Max Lowe as Huddersfield pressed for a late Wembley equaliser.

Yet VAR Paul Tierney refused to get involved and I can only assume he didn’t want to embarrass Jon Moss in his last game before retirement.

Now Moss has seen his record shop vandalized and suffered online death threats, while Huddersfield has to complain about missing out on the £200m jackpot that comes with promotion to the Premier League.

Burnley know exactly how they feel after the ridiculous penalty shot against Ashley Barnes that doomed them to defeat by Spurs and stunned their sales as they struggled to hit the drop.


It was another decision justified by the rulebook lovers on technical grounds, but one that left the rest of us stunned.

So now the talk is that Premier League clubs are considering ousting chief referee Mike Riley from his position as general manager of PGMOL.

But Riley, useless as he is, makes no changes to the rules that leave so many decisions open to interpretation.

That’s up to the International Football Board, which is meeting again in two weeks to decide how to proceed.

And the fact that they come together in Doha suggests it will be something no one knows is an actual thing until it wins the World Cup for Qatar.

Gareth Bale racked up some airline miles this week


Gareth Bale racked up some airline miles this weekPhoto credit: Getty


MUST laugh as I read about Gareth Bale’s grueling week flying first class between Madrid, Paris, Wroclaw and Cardiff.

Because let’s face it, he can’t exactly finish the 20 minutes of football he’s played for club and country over the past two months.

Perhaps it’s the strain of lugging around his £650,000-a-week salary that has proven to be such a strain.

However, it still hasn’t stopped him from earning an MBE in this week’s Jubilee Honors list.

Presumably because of his services to the banking sector.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's words came back to haunt him against Real Madrid


Trent Alexander-Arnold’s words came back to haunt him against Real MadridPhoto credit: AFP


Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool full-back, said in an interview ahead of the Champions League final: “I can see things that others can’t see.”

Too bad he couldn’t see Vinicius Junior sneak up behind him to score Real Madrid’s winning goal.

But he wasn’t the only one at Parc des Princes suffering from blurred vision.

Even more blind to reality was the French Home Secretary, who blamed the game’s shambolic conduct on ticketless Liverpool supporters.

The organization was so bad that even Boris Johnson is now calling for an investigation. And we all know how seriously he takes government requests.

But I suspect the King of Spain and Rafa Nadal were not surrounded and tear-gassed by Paris riot police as they made their way to their posh seats. Strange that.

The Monaco Grand Prix fell flat thanks to a mix of rain and a safety car


The Monaco Grand Prix fell flat thanks to a mix of rain and a safety carPhoto credit: Getty


THE only thing that could possibly make the Monaco Grand Prix interesting is a drizzle of Riviera rain to put the drivers’ skills to the test.

But when the skies opened up in Monte Carlo on Sunday, race officials delayed the start until the track had dried and pulled away behind a safety car anyway.

The inevitable result was less of a race and more of a procession, devoid of overtaking maneuvers and decided by the fastest pit crews.

Hardly any other sport shoots itself in the foot more regularly than Formula 1.


WITHOUT a big tournament to distract us, it’s going to be a very long summer of transfer speculation.

The good news is that any foreign player who says he won’t sign a new contract with his club will be a transfer boost for Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

And every player who joins someone will be a transfer hit.


YOU almost have to admire the tenacity of the French Open in refusing to use Hawkeye to settle disputed phone calls.

Why use modern technology when you can rely on the umpire to jump off his chair to inspect scrapes in the sand?

Especially when television then uses this technology to show viewers where the ball actually landed.


Good to see World Athletics leader Lord Coe signing the Sport of Declaration for a clean air campaign.

With so many of the world’s top athletes taking asthma medication, it’s easy to see why the IAAF is so concerned about pollution levels.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5477498/karim-benzema-real-madrid-liverpool-goal-disallowed/ I’m still scratching my head over how Benzema’s goal in the Champions League final was disallowed


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