Arsene Wenger

FIFA contemplating new offside rule once suggested by ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Football Pros

The 2023-2024 season in Europe begins in a month, and ahead of that, eyes are on the annual general meetings across leagues, which will shed light on the changes for the forthcoming season.

Besides the league bodies, football’s top board FIFA are also contemplating a major rule change in the VAR system. Interestingly, the rule was put in place to reduce on-field errors, but the VAR has only added more controversy and misery.

Over the years, we have seen fans baffled by controversial decisions by VAR, particularly the ones where players were found guilty of being a few millimetres ahead of the last defender.

There were also cases where a player’s hand, which is a non-playing part of their body, was ahead of the last defender and yet the goals used to get disqualified, sparking controversy.

In the latest events, there are reports that FIFA is contemplating to introduce a major offside rule change inspired by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s suggestion.

Wenger, who is FIFA’s chief of global football development, suggested a change where a player is caught in an offside position only when a significant body part is ahead of the last defender, contrary to the existing rule where an extra inch of hair could also account for an offside.

FIFA has suggested changes in which the player will be caught offside when a significant part of his body is in an offside position. Further, if any non-playing body parts, such as the hands, are ahead of the defender, the player will not be called offside.

At present, the change is in the trial stage and is being implemented in youth leagues in Sweden before Italy and other leagues adopt it.

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