No doubt all of you Manchester United fans will recall the recent Newcastle United match at Old Trafford, where a Newcastle United player, Danny Simpson fired a pass towards Papiss Cissé, who was in an offside position just behind Johnny Evans. Evans tried to intercept the ball ahead of Cissé, but only succeeded in diverting the ball past David De Gea into his own goal. Sir Alex was incensed when referee Mike Dean, no friend of Manchester United, overturned the assistant referee`s decision that Cissé was in an offside position therefore the goal should not stand. Sir Alex visibly remonstrated with Dean at the beginning of the second half, an action which immediately had the British wolf pack media baying for his blood in their usual anachronistic way.
Despite former referees and ex-players all agreeing that the goal was offside and Dean was wrong to overturn the assistant referee`s decision, the media led by Sky Sports as usual, were trying their best to make a case for Dean and have Sir Alex charged by the FA for misconduct. This is a common occurrence in the UK as the media are London based and there is a high degree of bigotry and antipathy towards Manchester United and Sir Alex in particular. Whilst in the US, your best sportsmen and teams are lauded for their success, here in the UK success breeds contempt by the bigots in our press.
How satisfying it must be for Sir Alex to find out today that the world football governing body, FIFA, agrees with him and is set to change the offside law to reflect the very situation Sir Alex complained about as being unlawful. To clarify this for those referees like Mr Dean who, given any degree of latitude will always rule against Manchester United, the rule has been re-worded:-
Proposals state that an attacker should be considered offside when ''gaining an advantage by being in that position.'' This would include receiving the ball from a rebound or deflection from the goal frame or a player in the defending team attempting a tackle, block or save.
However, an attacker should be allowed to continue play when receiving a deliberate pass, such as a back pass, from the defending team.
''A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage,'' the proposed new text of ''Law 11 - Offside'' states.
This rule change completely vindicates Sir Alex`s claim that Dean was wrong to allow the goal.