FIFA Considers New Offside Rule
The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) are discussing changes to football rules regarding the interpretation of the offside position.
This news has been reported by the Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.
Previously, an attacking player would be flagged offside if any part of their body with which they could score a goal was ahead of the last defender. The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system enabled referees to detect even the slightest offside positions.
However, FIFA and IFAB have been engaged in discussions for some time now regarding a different interpretation of the offside rule. As a result of consultations, the organizations have developed a new concept of the offside position. According to this concept, an offside position will only be called if a player's entire body is beyond the last defender's line at the moment of the pass, rather than just a specific body part (such as the head or foot).
The new offside concept has already been discussed in several meetings of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which is responsible for implementing or amending football rules. Initially, it is planned to be tested in lower divisions in Italy, Sweden, and the Netherlands, and then in professional football.
Former Arsenal coach Arsène Wenger had previously insisted on changes to the offside rule. Wenger currently holds the position of Chief of Global Football Development at FIFA. He presented his plans to modify the offside law to football lawmakers, following which FIFA President Gianni Infantino stated that, in his opinion, it would lead to more entertaining football.
It is worth mentioning that FIFA utilized a semi-automatic offside system during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, but the implementation of VAR led to disappointment among fans due to the disallowance of goals based on marginally offside positions that were difficult to discern with the naked eye.
On paper, the new rule seems like it could reduce errors in the game, and many football enthusiasts have expressed approval for this potential innovation on Twitter.
One supporter wrote, "Thank goodness, offside is a terrible rule. It ruins so many potentially thrilling matches," while another said, "This would be a fantastic rule change; more goals mean more excitement. Football traditionalists are fuming."
A third fan added, "It can't come soon enough! I've been saying they should do this for years! This rule has the potential to open up results in the sport a little more and eliminate most controversial offside decisions. I'm all for it!"
There were also jokes about the tendency of former Chelsea attackers Timo Werner and Álvaro Morata to run offside too early. One fan tweeted, "Bring back Werner and Morata; we need to win the title!"
However, some supporters remain skeptical about this idea. As one person wrote on Twitter, "This will ruin many aspects of the game. I'm against it."
A third person stated, "I'm not entirely keen on it. Yes, it will benefit attacking players, but as long as you can just be offside by sticking your boot ahead of the defender for a fraction of a second, and then have a free run to the goal and score, it will significantly complicate defending."
Another fan added, "FIFA keeps finding new ways to worsen offside, and it's exciting!"
Currently, it is unknown whether the new rule will be implemented at the highest level, but it is undoubtedly an intriguing concept that will have significant implications for the game as we know it today.