Rule not clear - Hughes
Blackburn boss Mark Hughes believes there should not be a "grey area" to the offside rule.
Last Updated: 28/12/07 5:57pm
Blackburn boss Mark Hughes believes there should not be a "grey area" to the offside rule, despite officials allowing Rovers' second goal against Manchester City on Thursday.
With just six minutes to go, Rovers levelled at the City of Manchester Stadium when Roque Santa Cruz nodded in David Bentley's cross for his seventh goal in four appearances.
The equaliser momentarily appeared to be ruled out when the linesman flagged David Dunn for offside, but referee Howard Webb then allowed the goal to stand.
Speaking of the current offside rule, Hughes told Sky Sports that on occasions this season his team have been hurt by the interpretation of the law, while at other times they have been told "that's the right interpretation".
"But I think there will always be a debate about the offside rule these days because it's not black and white. It is a grey area," he said.
When asked whether there should be a grey area, Hughes added: "There shouldn't be. Obviously I think it's come down from Fifa, from Sepp Blatter and it's to make the game more open and benefit strikers and what have you, but I think it just leads to confusion and it makes referees' and assistant referees' jobs a great deal harder.
"Sometimes you will benefit from decisions, other times it will go against you and you will feel aggrieved.
"But, as I said, maybe initially it was introduced with the right intentions but a lot of these things are brought down, directives are brought down from Fifa by people who have never played the game and don't understand how it will actually impact the game at the level that we play so unfortunately that's what we have got to live with."
He added the offside rule was a lot clearer when he was plying his trade and everybody understood it.
"It was easier to work on defensive situations because you understood that people were offside or they weren't.
"These days it is very difficult to do your defensive work when obviously there is an interpretation of the law."
But Hughes praised the change of heart in allowing Santa Cruz's second goal, saying he was grateful for it.
He added: "I honestly think the assistant referee did a really brave decision. I think he anticipated a situation that was going to develop. Obviously it didn't - obviously he felt that David Dunn was initially going to be interfering with the play. On reflection he obviously felt it didn't warrant giving the flag as he did and obviously we benefited from Roque scoring from the cross."
He added that it is not very often assistant referees are "strong and brave enough" to change their minds and he praised the official for realising a mistake had been made and that they gave "the right decision in my view."