Rio Ferdinand admitted he did not understand why Karim Benzema’s first-half goal was ruled out for offside in the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Liverpool had the majority of chances in the first half in Paris and looked the more likely team to take the lead. Nevertheless, it was Real Madrid that had the ball in the back of the net first as Benzema scored just before the break. However, after an extremely long VAR check, the goal was ruled out for offside.
The decision confused many spectators, with the ball coming off Fabinho’s knee before falling into the path of Benzema.
While everyone agreed Benzema was in an offside position, fans could not understand why it mattered given the context of how Benzema received the ball.
And speaking in the BT Sport studio, Ferdinand echoed these thoughts in his half time analysis.
He said: “All i’m hearing is that it may not be intentional the way it’s come off Fabinho.
“But it’s still come off him, that’s the point.
“It’s come off a Liverpool player, and it’s gone into his path because of a Liverpool player.
“If I’m a Real Madrid player now, I am going bananas in that changing room.”
Peter Walton explains decision to Rio Ferdinand
Luckily for Liverpool legends Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen who were also in the studio, former English referee Peter Walton was on stand-by to defend the decision.
He claimed that even though the ball touched three Liverpool players before returning to Benzema, the ball was never played intetnionally.
This means the offside position was still valid.
He explained: “It’s quite easy to be honest with you. Benzema is in an offside position.
“The offence is committed if the ball is played back to him. It deflects off Fabinho, it isn’t played back.
“Because he hasn’t deliberately played the ball back, Benzema is not deemed to be onside.
“It is only played onside if the Liverpool player is deemed to have deliberately played the ball. That’s why it took so long for VAR to decide.”
Many fans took to social media to dispute this explanation. However, going into the break, this meant the final remained goalless.