The Frenchman believes the current law requires certain amendments for the betterment of the game.
In a latest, FIFA’s head of global development, Arsene Wenger, has come up with a proposition to amend the offside rule. The former Arsenal manager suggests a player shall be ruled onside if any part of their body that can score a goal is behind or level with the defender.
The ‘offside’ rule is very often seen as a contentious topic in football with several experts sharing different viewpoints. Moreover, the rule puts referees into deep trouble especially in crucial games where simple decisions matter a lot.
Interestingly, the introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) too hasn’t been able to completely justify some offside decisions. This, naturally, draws questions regarding the feasibility of the rule in the first place.
Being among the top coaches in the world for years, Arsene Wenger is understanding of the issues surrounding the rule. “The most difficult [issue] that people have [with VAR] is the offside rule,” said the Frenchman at the Laureus Sports Awards in Berlin.
“You have had off-sides by a fraction of a centimetre, literally by a nose. It is the time to do this quickly,” he quoted as per Goal.
Arsene Wenger certainly has a point there with several examples at his discretion. Raheem Sterling (against West Ham in August) and Roberto Firmino (against Aston Villa in November) being harshly ruled offside serve as some classic examples of the same.
“There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player’s nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that. Instead, you will be not be 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.”
“That will sort it out. You’ll no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line.”
As it stands, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) – the game’s law-making body, will hold a meeting regarding the issue. If the proposition by Arsene Wenger receives majority upvotes, amendments to the rule will take place with effect from June, before the much-awaited UEFA Euro 2020 begins.