Belfast – Calls for football to introduce a ‘daylight’ offside rule in a bid to provide greater clarity have been backed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
This season’s English Premier League has witnessed several controversies revolving around offside and in particular how a number of goals have been ruled out by the barest of margins following a check by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global development, said last week the law should be changed so that a player is onside if any part of their body that can score a goal is behind or level with the relevant defender.
Infantino backed the former Arsenal manager’s position by saying: “I’m certainly in favour of discussing a new way of looking at the offside rule, to see if it can help, because I think the issue is more an issue of understanding.
“Some of (the decisions) are very, very close and it’s difficult for the people who are watching to see whether it’s offside, so we have to look at whether we can make the offside rule clearer by having light in between.”
Infantino was speaking as he arrived in Belfast ahead of Saturday’s annual general meeting of the International Football Association Board, the sport’s rule-making body.
Saturday’s meeting does not have the power to alter the offside rule, with any changes have to be examined first by IFAB’s football and technical panels before a vote.
Infantino said introducing a margin of error for VAR would not resolve rows over offside.
“It doesn’t solve the issue,” he insisted. “Even if you put a margin of 10 centimetres and then if it’s 11, it’s still one more, if it’s 10 and a half… so it doesn’t solve it. It should be clear.”
Meanwhile Infantino said this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo would be the ideal event for football to trial concussion substitutes as the sport looks to deal with the impact of head injuries.
“This is a subject that needs to be discussed more and trialled as well,” he said. “Maybe it’s important there are trials before next season.
“We have the Olympic Games for example where we could, as FIFA, trial something like that and see what happens.”