Bizarre optical illusion confounds football world

Can you spot why this throw-in has left football fans scratching their heads?

A bizarre ‘optical illusion’ has confused fans around the world during Reading’s clash with Cardiff City in England’s second-tier competition.

Just before half-time during the match on Sunday, a Reading player was preparing for a throw-in when he stepped backwards towards the sideline before throwing the ball in.

Um, is that the right place? Image: Sky Sports

However it looked as though he’d completely hoodwinked the officials by taking the throw from a shadow line near the sideline, and not the actual sideline.

As you can see above, it looks like he’s standing a good five metres inside the actual sideline, but the referee allowed play to continue.

Fans were left gobsmacked on social media.

However some other eagle-eyed fans offered a simple explanation, believing the white line you can see is actually the top of the advertising boards beyond the sideline.

But even with the photo proof, some were still unconvinced.

Either way, it certainly makes for a funny story.