This kick-off conspiracy just won’t go away.
Last week, you might remember reading about Kieran Trippier’s decision not to celebrate with his England team-mates when Harry Kane scored that late goal against Tunisia.
At the time, the theory was that he stayed inside Tunisia’s half to deny them the chance to quickly kick-off while England’s players were off celebrating in the corner.
It was thought that if all the players left the pitch – much like Kane and co did – then the game could’ve been quickly restarted by Tunisia and Jordan Pickford would’ve found himself in a ten-on-one situation.
However, a quick flick through FIFA’s rule book a few days later debunked our favourite conspiracy theory.
According to the rules: “For every kick-off, all players, except the player taking the kick-off, must be in their own half of the field of play.
“In the event of any other kick-off procedure offence the kick-off is retaken.”
To put it simply, it’s bulls***.
Still, that didn’t stop Panama from trying it today.
Right after Harry Kane’s penalty (one of them, anyway) in England’s 6-1 win, one of Panama’s players could be seen picking the ball out of the net and rushing to the centre-circle to quickly kick-off, all the while England were off the pitch celebrating the goal.
Placing the ball in the centre, he kicks-off and attempts to spear-head an attack towards England’s goal while everyone’s still up at the other end.
Thankfully, the referee blew his whistle and stopped the illegal play, much to the bemusement of Jordan Pickford – who was clearly a little taken back by the attempt.
Nice try though, lads.
Panama did eventually get their goal, scoring a late consolation through Felipe Baloy – their first ever at a World Cup.