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IFAB Approves Additional Trials for New Offside Rule in Football

IFAB has approved new testing for an alternative offside interpretation. Under this proposal, a player will only be deemed offside if their entire body is ahead of the last defender.

FIFA, the global governing body of football, is set to trial a modification to the offside regulation. Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of International Football Development and former Arsenal coach has suggested that an offside offence should only occur if a player’s entire body extends past the final defender’s position.

offside IFAB Approves Additional Trials for New Offside Rule in Football
Image Credits- Goal

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Arsene Wenger Proposed Changes for Offside Rule With An Aim to Boost Attacking Play and Reduce Offside Decisions

Each new season heralds fresh beginnings, accompanied by numerous trials that often evolve into established norms over time. Arsene Wenger is at the forefront of the latest innovation, seeking to reshape the offside rule.

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Infantino, FIFA’s president, has urged the organization’s development director to seek adjustments that promote attacking football. Wenger is confident that he has identified the solution.

The Frenchman advocates for a change to the offside rule, foreseeing an enhancement in the sport’s spectacle. His proposal centers on allowing attackers to bypass defenders as long as they maintain contact with a part of their body that enables them to legally score in line with the last defender.

Wenger drew inspiration from Premier League research indicating that implementing his proposed offside rule adjustment could potentially reduce the number of offside decisions by half.

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Measures will eventually be implemented, and it might even be determined that being offside by just five or six centimeters is not considered an offense. Everything is currently under examination,” stated authorized sources from IFAB.

With the proposed rule change, only two of the typical four offside calls per game would remain, potentially fostering a more offensive style of play.

The project was initiated in 2021, and through FIFA’s extensive testing efforts, it has progressed to fruition. With the advent of VAR, semi-automatic offside calls, and other innovative advancements in recent years, the early phases bear a striking resemblance to past implementations.

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FILE PHOTO: FIFA president Gianni Infantino is seen after Spain won the Women’s World Cup final, Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia – August 20, 2023. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/File Photo

Infantino has consistently harbored a desire for adaptation.

In its 135-year history, football has undergone only two rule changes. It’s currently in the study phase because we aim for soccer to become more offensive with each passing day,” he asserted as the initiative gained traction. “Arsene Wenger has presented us with one possibility: eliminating the offside if the striker is in an offside position, but a part of the body capable of scoring a goal remains in line with the defense. This adjustment could lead to a significantly more offensive style of football.”

  1. What’s the existing offside rule in football?

    When an attacker closer to goal than the ball and second-to-last defender is offside, but only penalized if they touch the ball, hinder an opponent, or gain an advantage.

IFAB Trials Extend Beyond Offside Rule Amid Celtic Controversy

The controversy surrounding the offside rule has gained momentum among Celtic fans following Saturday’s match, where three goals against St Johnstone were disallowed for offside.

This year marks the third phase of experimentation with a rule change aimed at revising the criteria for determining an offside position. The proposed adjustment would redefine offside, requiring a player’s entire body to be positioned ahead of the second-last opponent.

9e44c379afce146a440bc05c015e304dceef8ae0 IFAB Approves Additional Trials for New Offside Rule in Football
Image Credits- Goal

However, IFAB is not solely focused on the offside rule; other trials are also in progress. One significant change under consideration is restricting only a team’s captain to approach the referee in certain situations. Additionally, there’s a proposal for a cooling-off period mandating teams to retreat to their own penalty area, along with a time limit on how long goalkeepers can possess the ball.

IFAB’s latest proposition involves limiting goalkeepers to holding onto the ball for only eight seconds. Failure to release the ball within this timeframe would result in the opposition gaining possession, aiming to curtail time-wasting tactics employed by teams.

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