Football might be changing its rules again! This time, they’re thinking about tweaking the offside rule to make things easier for the referees. The ex-manager of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, and now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, is the one pushing this concept.
The whole point is to make the rule simpler and less likely to cause arguments. They want everyone to be able to understand it easily and avoid controversies. The rule, as it stands, is a bit confusing. When you talk to fans betting online, they’ll tell you how frustrating some decisions have been. However, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel!
Before we look at the new proposals, as a punter it would help to understand what the current offside rule looks like when engaging in sports betting Zambia. Let’s delve deeper:
What Does The Current Offside Rule State?
If a player is in the opponent’s half and any part of their body is closer to the opponent’s goal line than the football and the second-to-last opponent when the ball is kicked, then they are offside. This means, except for their hands or arms, any part of the player’s body can’t be ahead of the second-last opponent, including the goalkeeper. Got it?
To clarify, let’s assign names to the teams and players involved. So, imagine Team X is playing against Team Y.
- Player A: This is the player from Team X who’s making the pass.
- Player B: This is the player from Team X to whom the pass is being made.
- Player C: This is the player from Team Y who is closest to Team Y’s goal (usually the goalkeeper).
- Player D: This is the second-closest player from Team Y to Team Y’s goal.
Let me explain the rules: If Player A kicks or heads the ball, Player B needs to ensure that their entire body, including arms and legs, is not positioned further ahead than Player D. To put it plainly, for Player B to be onside, he must position himself between Team Y’s goal and both Player C and Player D.
It is essential to understand that merely being in an offside position may not lead to any problems. If Player B, while being offside, makes contact with the ball or takes part in the play, the ref will intervene. The game will be stopped, and Team Y will be awarded a free-kick.
There are certain instances where applying the offside rule is unnecessary. Here’s an example to help illustrate: Let’s say Player A passes the football to Player B.
But Player B is actually offside within their own half. Well, in this scenario, no offense will be committed. The game will proceed without any penalty imposed.
It’s worth noting that being offside during a throw-in does not lead to a foul. However, the offside rule does apply during free kicks and corner kicks.
Understanding Arsene Wenger’s Proposal
Wenger wants to tweak the offside rule some more. He thinks we should consider the body part to determine if a player is offside. However, his previous ideas for changing the rule didn’t go over well and got a lot of criticism.
His new proposal is that the entire body part responsible for scoring goals should be offside before the referee raises the flag. So, if any part of that scoring body is behind the last defender, the attacking player would still be considered onside and can keep playing.
For the past few seasons, fans have been experiencing prolonged analysis of very narrow offside calls by referees ever since the introduction of video-assisted refereeing (VAR). It can be quite exasperating for spectators of a game, whether they’re present at the venue or watching it from home, to not comprehend the proceedings or the discussions taking place.
The purpose of this new rule is to remove any uncertainty when determining offsides. Moreover, it aims to enhance the attacking team’s chances and offer fans an electrifying and dynamic experience with fewer disruptions and more thrilling moments.
If this change is made, it would greatly help strikers and force teams to adjust their defensive strategies. In the previous season, many goals were disallowed by VAR due to offside calls, but with the new proposals, most of those goals would likely be allowed.
The implementation of this new rule in England may take some time. They plan to test it out first in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy during a trial period. If it proves to be successful there, they might introduce it globally.
How The New Offside Rule Could Affect Teams
The proposed rule change would be welcomed by attackers worldwide if implemented. However, it could also present challenges for defenders who already find it difficult to handle attackers, especially because many clubs nowadays rely on a high-line defensive strategy.
Therefore, any club playing a high defensive line would have to return to the drawing board. In the EPL, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal are the clubs that play with a high defensive line. However, Pep, Arteta, and Klopp have been setting up their defensive strategies based on the current offside rule.
For example, data shows that City catches their opponents offside about 29 meters from their goal. Time will tell whether the new rule will make them change this approach. In the 2022/23 season, many goals were disallowed on fine margins. Many coaches, teams, players, and bettors on Betway were left disappointed after some weird VAR offside calls.
On the other hand, teams with pacy strikers that sit deep and hit their opponents on the counter could benefit from this new rule. For instance, De Zebri’s Brighton are known to suck in their opponents to create space behind their midfield to attack. With this new rule, the likes of Mitoma, Enciso, Evan Ferguson, and March will be a handful for many defenses.
Arsene Wenger seems to have identified an issue that has caused a lot of frustration in the football world. While technologies like VAR have tried to solve the problem, they have also caused new problems.
But, the new proposal by Wenger will make the offside rule more straightforward. The referee will no longer need to take up to 80 seconds to determine whether a player is offside or not. In fact, VAR might not have much to do regarding offside calls.