(Cnn in Spanish) — Football could take a ‘Copernican twist’ in its offside regulations overs) after FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) passed the so-called Wenger law.
This law consists of charging for offside when a footballer has his whole body in front of the penultimate rival. In other words, it won’t be a crime as long as part of the body is in line with the last defender, sources with access to the work of both international soccer organizations told CNN.
The new forward position model is in a ‘test phase’, ‘experimental’ in nature, and is ongoing in the non-professional ‘minor’ categories in Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands. In the case of Sweden, it will take place in the men’s under 21 and women’s under 19, the same sources confirmed to CNN.
This possible change in this important aspect of the game is based on a proposal suggested years ago by Arsene Wenger, current director of development of FIFA, as well as a former footballer and former coach.
“Arsene Wenger suggested it. At first we were a bit hesitant, but then we thought it was right, that we should get involved in this. FIFA has sold it to us well. They have a lot of faith in our football and they know that we have a good organization,” explained Per Widen, development manager of the Swedish federation, as published by Infobae quoting local outlet Expressen.
Currently, advanced position is charged based on other metrics based on IFAB Rule 11, which states the following:
“A player is considered to be in an offside position when his head, torso or leg (including foot) is wholly or partially closer to the opponent’s goal line than the ball and the penultimate opponent.”
That is to say, when any part of an attacking player’s body is, however minimally, in front of the penultimate defender with the possibility of touching the ball, it will be penalized as an attacker, an offside charge and an indirect free kick for the rival.
Miguel Scime, a former member of the Conmebol Arbitration Commission and former director of the AFA Referee School, told CNN that this experimental rule will be excellent for the game if confirmed. He believes it will give more speed to the decision of the referees and, moreover, it would allow a leap of emotion in the game with a likely increase in the number of goals.
For example, at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Argentine national striker Lautaro Martínez had two goals disallowed for millimeter position on his debut against Saudi Arabia, which led to many controversies and surprises for the protagonists and also for the fan.