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VAR decision nullifies goal in Ecuador-Qatar game

Well, it didn’t take long.

Sunday’s opener of the 2022 World Cup got off to a controversial start when Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia appeared to score an early goal against hosts Qatar but was later ruled offside by VAR , or the video assistant referee, and refused.

In a graphic posted online, Ecuador striker Michael Estrada was ruled offside in the build-up to the goal, by NBC Sports’ Joe Prince-Wright.

Unsurprisingly, the decision caused an uproar on Twitter moments later.

“Yes, it’s not offside. 5 minutes into the World Cup, are you kidding? a user wrotewhile another tweeted“I mean the overall pictures don’t even show offside…VAR.”

According to the FIFA Laws of the Game, a “player is in an offside position if he (any part of the head, feet or body) is closer to the opponents’ goal line than the penultimate defender and the ball – and he is in the opponent’s half.

Enner Valencia of Ecuador (13) scores a goal during the Group A – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 match between Qatar and Ecuador on November 20, 2022.
Getty Images
Ecuador beat Qatar in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup, 2-0.
Ecuador beat Qatar in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup, 2-0.
Getty Images

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Ecuador finally bounced back, with Valencia hitting a penalty after 16 minutes. The 33-year-old scored again soon after to give Ecuador a 2-0 lead.

Ecuador would win the match and face the Netherlands on Friday.

New York Post

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