VIENNA (AFP) — Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal for Holland in their 3-0 trouncing of world champions Italy in their Euro 2008 opening Group C match was legal despite a clear offside said European football's governing body UEFA on Tuesday.
UEFA's secretary-general David Taylor said that even though van Nistelrooy was clearly offside the fact Italian defender Christian Panucci was behind the goalline without seeking permission from the officials placed the goalscorer onside.
"The goal has been correctly awarded by the team of referees," said Taylor.
"The player was not offside.
"When you're off the pitch, you're still relevant of the off side law. The referees applied the law in the correct manner. Unless you have permission to be off the pitch, you have to be on it. Most people are not aware of the law. There is no matter for debate."
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