I saw something yesterday in a women’s game and thought it would make a good point for discussion. There are some situations where a team acts within the laws of the game, though not necessarily within the spirit. An obvious example would be when a team puts the ball out for an injured player to get treatment, the other team is not obliged to give it back, but to not do so is considered unsporting The situation yesterday?... Arsenal Women vs Reading Women. Arsenal have just equalised at 1-1. From the kick off, the Arsenal goalie was off her line and got lobbed straight from the kick off! The Arsenal goalie returned to the ball straight to the centre, while the Reading players ran to the touch line to celebrate. While they did this, Arsenal called to the referee to blow his whistle, which he duly did and Arsenal kicked off. All 10 outfield Reading players were on the touchline in a bundle, leaving Arsenal with a clear run through to goal, with only the goalie to beat. Amazingly, they made a complete mess of it and didn’t even get to the penalty area, before giving the ball away to the Reading players who were all charging back en masse There is a very unusual situation that allowed this to happen. Usually, goals are scored from well inside the oppositions half and the celebration then tends to happen in that half. Play cannot resume until all of the players are back in their half. Generally, the whistle only goes when everyone is in their positions and ready, but there is no actual requirement for this is the laws. In this case, the goal was scored from the half way line, with all other Reading players in their own half, so the celebrations happened in the Reading half, on the touchline, about 10 yards from the corner flag. Therefore, when Arsenal asked the referee to allow them to start, he had no reason to say no. I support Reading, so my view may be slightly clouded, but IMHO, to kick off when the other team is celebrating the goal is legal, but unsporting. I would be interested to hear the views of neutrals. Imagine you saw this in a Premier League game and you didn’t support either team. What would your thoughts be?