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A Comedy of Errors

Nani's Goal Was Farcical

Posted Nov 03, 2010 by Shaun Edwards

the goal was farcical

There have been a number of shambolic and unusual situations in the Premier league so far this season, but I’ve seen few quite as ridiculous as Nani’s goal against Spurs on Saturday.  For those not in the know. Nani fell down fairly easily in the Spurs box, resting his hand on the ball as he believed he had won a penalty.  However, the whistle did not blow, and the Spurs goalkeeper Gomez picked up the ball and rolled it out to prepare for the free kick as a result of Nani’s handball.  However, Nani walk back round Gomez and slotted the ball into the net.

So, should the goal have stood?  Well, in the rules of the game, yes.  As no free kick had been given for Nani’s handball, then the ball was still in play.  That’s why the huge rush of controversy was unfortunately rendered largely irrelevant, and why Gomez will undoubtedly be kicking himself first thing this morning.  ‘Play until the whistle’ is one of the first things that young footballers are taught, and if they forget that at the highest level, then they’ll be punished.

However, we all know that this was a massive refereeing catastrophe, and one that the referee Clattenburg will need to acknowledge.  The fact that the assistant referee had raised his flag in a move that seemingly disallowed the goal was an additional farce that added to Spurs boss Harry Redknapp’s anger at the goal.  If the referee chose not to give Nani a penalty, then it may be necessary to find out precisely why he didn’t penalise the United midfielder for a blatant, blatant handball.

No blame can really be attached to Nani himself: replays clearly show experienced United heads such as Ferdinand and Scholes telling the midfielder to slot the ball in.  It’s one of those extremely odd situations in which you can’t really blame any of the players: Gomes wasn’t really to blame, either.

Only one man really needs to evaluate the situation and offer an explanation as to what exactly happened at Old Trafford, and it’s the man in black in the middle.


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