VAR review: Why was Simons' goal for Netherlands offside?

VAR review: Why was Simons' goal for Netherlands offside?


We're analysing every VAR decision taken in all 51 games at Euro 2024. On Friday, the Netherlands thought they had scored against France, but the goal was disallowed for offside. What happened?

After each game, we look back at the key incidents and examine and explain the process within the context of VAR protocol and the laws of the game.


Probable goal: Dumfries given offside on Simmons' goal

What happened: Xavi Simons In the 69th minute he scored the first goal for the Netherlands. However, while the players were celebrating, referee Anthony Taylor was discussing the goal with his assistant, and it was ruled offside.

VAR decision: No goal.

VAR review: It all depends on the specifics of the offside law, and when a player in an offside position interferes with an opponent's work.

Simmons hits the first shot which goes into the bottom right corner of the goal. So far so good.

However, Denzel Dumfries The goalkeeper stood in an offside position between Mike Maignan and the path of the ball.

Would Maignan have saved the shot? That is not a consideration for the officials, there is no judgement about the keeper's ability. The officials have to ask themselves whether Dumfries had an impact on Maignan, and whether that affected his decision not to dive to attempt a save. Would the keeper have had to dive through the Dutch player to reach the ball? That is undoubtedly a fair assessment given Dumfries' position.

The goal was easy enough to rule out. So the most controversial part is why it took so long for VAR, Stuart Attwell and his assistants from Germany and Switzerland to back up the decision on the field: 2 minutes and 47 seconds after Taylor was whistled for offside. This is the longest VAR review of the tournament. It should have been a quick check and complete – which would have made it clear that the decision made on the field was in fact correct.

If the decision had not been made by Taylor and his assistant, a longer VAR check would have been much more understandable and the goal might have been scored, as interference is a subjective decision.

It must be remembered that the referee will be sent only to the monitor Change This is not to confirm their decision, but to accept it.

While the Dutch team may be hurt, they benefited from a slightly more controversial situation at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In a group stage match against Ecuador, they thought they had equalised on the stroke of half-time. Pervis EstupiñanBut the goal was disallowed due to offside on the field Jackson PorozzoHe stood close to the goalkeeper and was between him and the path of the ball – yet Andries Noppert Had already dived in the opposite direction. Decision taken on the field, supported by VAR.

Passive offside decisions, when the offending player does not touch the ball or attempt to play it, are always the most controversial. But what is controversial and what the law aims to do do not match.


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