(Cnn in Spanish) — Football could take a ‘Copernican turn’ in its offside regulations off-side) after FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved the so-called Wenger Law.
This law consists of charging offside when a footballer has his whole body in front of the penultimate opponent. In other words, it won’t be an offense as long as a body part is in line with the last defender, sources with access to the work of both international soccer organizations told CNN.
The new forward stance model is in a “test phase”, “experimental” in nature, and is used in non-professional “minor” categories in Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands. In the case of Sweden, it will be played in the men’s under-21s and women’s under-19s, the same sources confirmed to CNN.
This possible change to this important aspect of the game is based on a proposal suggested years ago by Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s current director of development, as well as a former footballer and former manager.
“Arsene Wenger suggested it. We were a little hesitant at first, but afterwards we felt it was right, that we should be involved in it. FIFA sold it to us well. They have a lot of confidence in our football and they know that we have a good organization”, detailed Per Widen, responsible for the development of the Swedish federation, as published by Infobae quoting the local media Expressen.
Currently, advanced position is charged according to other parameters based on IFAB Rule 11, which states the following:
“A player is considered to be in an offside position when his head, trunk or leg (foot included) is, totally or partially, closer to the opponents’ goal line than the ball and the penultimate opponent.”
That is to say, when any part of the body of an attacking footballer is, even minimal, in front of the penultimate defender with the possibility of touching the ball, he will be penalized as an attacker, charging offside 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 would be great for the game if confirmed. He believes that this will give more speed to the decision of the referees and, in addition, it would allow a jump of emotion in the game with a probable increase in the number of goals.
For example, at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Argentina national team striker Lautaro Martínez was disallowed two goals for millimeter positions on his debut against Saudi Arabia, which caused a lot of of controversies and surprises for the protagonists and also for the Fans.