Football rules: New offside rule under discussion – with far-reaching consequences

Soccer Wenger advance

New offside rule under discussion – with far-reaching consequences

| Reading time: 3 minutes


Many decisions are made at Fifa headquarters that fans do not understand. This time it could be different

Source: pa / Mandoga Media / Alexander Sandvoss

The world association Fifa is thinking about changing the offside rule. The suggestion comes from the legendary coach Arsene Wenger. He promises significantly more goals. The whole thing is to be tested in Germany.

Arsene Wenger is a stubborn person. The Frenchman had already dared to commit a violation at the end of February. But the idea of ​​the long-time Arsenal coach to reform the offside rule so that more goals could be scored in the future did not meet with open ears at the time.

A few months later, Wenger, who had coached Arsenal from 1998 to 2018, got back into position – and according to information from the “Kickers”, Gianni Infantino, the president of the world association Fifa, is now open to the 70-year-old Wenger’s proposal. Wenger has been Director of Global Football Promotion at Fifa since November last year.

Arsene Wenger

Since November 2019, Arsene Wenger has been Director of Global Football Promotion at Fifa

Source: pa / Pressebildage / ULMER

If Wenger has his way, one part of the body should in future be sufficient to cancel the offside as long as it is at the height of the penultimate opponent. So far, the rule has practically been reversed: as soon as a part of the body with which a goal can be scored is closer to the goal line than the penultimate opponent, a footballer is on the side.

Example: Reus against Mönchengladbach

Example: So far, a player is offside if one of his body parts with which he is allowed to score a goal (i.e. everything except his arms) is only a few centimeters in front of the penultimate opponent. This is what happened in the following picture with Marco Reus. Against Mönchengladbach, Dortmund was sidelined with the hoe last October, and BVB’s 1-0 through Thorgan Hazard was disallowed according to the video evidence.


Hard to see with the naked eye: Reus is offside with the hoe

Those: sky

If the new rule came into force, the hit would have counted because Reus would then have clearly not been offside. Because now a player should no longer be on the sidelines if even one of the above-mentioned body parts is still at the level of the opponent.

This would be an enormous advantage for the attackers, as the following Fifa statistics show. An internal evaluation comes to the result that around 50 percent of the goals not given due to the offside position, including the calibrated line and the video assistant, would have been scored if the Wenger idea had been implemented.

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Several English media reported on Wenger’s idea in February. He then let it be known through FIFA that he only wanted to show a potential possibility for developing the rules that was worth discussing. He is aware, however, that discussions with all those involved and test phases by the international regulatory body Ifab would be necessary.

Fifa boss Infantino is said to have already contacted Oliver Bierhoff, who works as director of national teams at the German Football Association (DFB), on this issue. At a U-19 tournament in Germany, it is said that there will be a first series of tests for this offside rule.




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