Rule-making body to review offside law in favour of strikers

Football's rule-making body has decided on Saturday to undertake a major review of the offside law in order to "foster the spirit of attacking play".

IFAB (International Football Association Board) will hold consultations over the next 12 months on the law with proposals expected at the end of that process. FIFA is represented on the IFAB board and holds 50 per cent of the voting power.

The use of VAR has curtailed strikers even more.Credit:Getty

"The offside rule has evolved over time and we felt that now was really the right time to look into that, to see whether we can do something positive for attacking football," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

"We can now look to see if we can provide strikers with more scoring opportunities."

The introduction of video assistant referees (VAR) has seen the benefit of the doubt being taken away from the attacking players.

"Football is saying to us that we don't think that your toe being two centimetres in front of the end of a defender is a significant enough advantage to be penalised," IFAB technical director David Elleray said.

More leniency when adjudicating offsides would swing the balance back in favour of strikers.Credit:AP

"It is not going to change the accuracy, it is saying, philosophically, how do we want offside?

"Is it appropriate for us to say, can we change the law to restore more benefit to attacking football?"

Some of the most forensic analysis of video replays has come in England and has led to criticism of VAR in the Premier League, which irritates Infantino.

"There is only one league in the world where this seems to be a big problem," Infantino said.

The annual general meeting of IFAB approved clarifications to the handball law to "differentiate more clearly" between the arm and shoulder and also progress with concussion substitute trials.

Protocols will be designed to allow them to be tested at the Tokyo Olympics in five months.

IFAB has been assessing studies into the prevalence of former footballers suffering from dementia and how the sport can address concerns about the long- term impact of head injuries.

Meanwhile, Infantino acknowledged it was "wrong" that the annual laws of football meeting had only men taking the decisions on Saturday after FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura could not make the trip to Northern Ireland.

"It's wrong not to have a woman," he said.

"We should look into that for the future maybe, ask everyone of us to have in its delegation at least one woman. I will certainly propose that."


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