Football

Wenger wants offside law changed

Arsene Wenger said on Wednesday (Feb 19) he wants to see a change in the offside law which could end a run of contentious decisions since the introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR).

Fifa’s head of global development wants a player to be deemed onside if any part of their body which can legitimately score a goal is level or behind the last defender.

It will flip the current rule which states the player is in an offside position if any part of their body they can score with is beyond the line of the last defender.

However, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), football’s lawmaking body, does not have any concrete proposal for a law change on the agenda for their Feb 29 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

IFAB’s general secretary Lukas Brud said that any discussion of changes would be a general one and ruled out an immediate change.

“This particular proposal is not on the agenda for the AGM,” said Brud, adding that any changes to the laws need to go through a consultation process and trials before any concrete change is considered.

“We are not going to take a decision on something like this in ten days,” he said.

IFAB may discuss ideas for changing the offside laws at the meeting, in general terms, but no decision on a concrete proposal will be made, Brud added.

The use of video review has been a source of constant criticism since its recent introduction, including concern about the time to take decisions and the precision with which offsides are judged.

The system sparked another controversy last week in the English Premier League, when Wolverhampton Wanderers had a goal ruled out against Leicester City after Pedro Neto’s heel was adjudged to be fractionally offside in the build-up.

“You will be not offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker’s body are in front,” Wenger, who was manager of EPL club Arsenal for 22 years, told the British media.

“That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line.” – REUTERS

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