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An ex-referee questions the contentious phase in Bruges: “I understand why people are talking about it.”

Serge Gumienny closely monitored the championship’s climax.

It’s the turning point of the championship: in the 80th minute of play, Cercle Bruges thought they had scored against their Club Brugge neighbours, temporarily handing the title to Union Saint-Gilloise. But after more than five minutes of scrutiny, Jonathan Lardot and the VAR ultimately decided to disallow the goal for an offside position.

Speaking to our colleagues at Sporza, former referee Serge Gumienny shared his thoughts on this phase that changed the face of the championship: “I had to watch the images several times,” he begins, “based on the images we saw, the Cercle Bruges player is offside by a toe.”

“At the beginning of the season, it was clearly stated that there must be a clear offside. I understand why people are discussing it now and asking questions about it,” nuances Gumienny.

However, for him, Lopes, the player in the contentious position, does indeed influence the action even if he only touches the ball in a second or even third instance: “The fact that he goes into a duel with De Cuyper, who touches the ball with his head, means that we can signal offside. He thus takes part in the action.”

During the Complètement Foot show on Vivacité, another former referee, Alexandre Boucaut, expressed reservations about Lopes’ offside position: “We saw the official VAR image, where the offside lines are drawn. For me, they are drawn incorrectly, because Hugo Siquet has not yet struck the ball. However, on the television footage, we have a still image at the moment Siquet strikes the ball. So yes, in the image that the VAR shows us, Da Silva is offside and interferes in the phase. Nevertheless, this bothers me because it doesn’t seem to be the correct offside image.”

Written by Jose Machino

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