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IFAB set to consider major offside rule change for next season after Arsene Wenger recommendation

Ryan Smart

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IFAB set to consider major offside rule change for next season after Arsene Wenger recommendation

Football lawmakers IFAB will reportedly consider a significant change to the offside law for next season following a recommendation by former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Although the offside law has essentially stayed the same for a number of decades, the introduction of VAR has led to several tweaks and clarifications in recent years.

Currently (via IFAB's website), a player is adjudged to be offside if 'any part of the head, body and feet is nearer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent'.

To put it simply, if any part of a player's body that they can score with - meaning hands and arms are not included - is ahead of the second-last opponent, they will be offside.

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The final body part that can be deemed to be offside is the bottom of the armpit, which has come under scrutiny when VAR has to assess the tightest of offside calls.

But according to Spanish outlet Marca, IFAB are considering another change to the offside law.

It is reported that the recommendation has come courtesy of Arsenal icon Wenger, who is currently serving as FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development.

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Wenger allegedly wants a player to be deemed offside if his entire body overtakes the last defender, meaning there would be no change to the law in that instance.

But the Frenchman wants a clarification on another part of the law, so that if a small part of the attacker's body is 'offside', they will not be judged as offside.

Top division football fans would no doubt breathe a sigh of relief at that proposal, as it would bring to an end the lengthy checks over individual body parts by VAR.

But it would also introduce an element of subjectivity into proceedings, which may cause even more controversy surrounding the use of VAR over a longer-term period.

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It is claimed that if the change is approved, it will be introduced in time for the 2024/25 season.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: FIFA, VAR, Arsene Wenger

Ryan Smart
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