Fifa to look at changes to offside rule


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The Independent Football

Changes to the offside law are needed to make it simpler to understand, a FIFA task force announced today.

Franz Beckenbauer, head of the FIFA Task Force Football 2014, believes there should be "a clear, understandable rule" about when players are actively or passively offside.

The task force will come up with proposals for their next meeting - at a date yet to be fixed - and also want to see the issue of 'triple punishment' tackled, whereby players who are sent off for denying a goal-scoring opportunity in the area suffer a red card, a penalty against their team and a subsequent ban.

On the offside law, a statement read: "The group discussed the interpretation of Law 11 regarding active and passive offside.

"The chairman asked the task force members to come up with suggestions for a clear, understandable rule by the time of the group's next meeting."

Beckenbauer added: "In my time it was very simple, offside was offside, it didn't matter where the ball was. It's a nonsense [now], it's too complicated.

"We have a situation with active and passive offside at the moment. I think we should stay away from complicated expressions, we should go back to making it more simple, not like it was at the beginning but somewhere in between."

On triple punishment, the group agreed that an automatic red card in the area should only apply for serious foul play, or for an outfield player stopping the ball on the goal-line with his hand.

"Any other simple fouls in the penalty area should only be sanctioned with a penalty and a yellow card," the statement added.

"The same punishment is proposed for a goalkeeper who tries to catch the ball but tackles the legs of a player.

"The aim is make it easier for referees to ensure uniform and fairer decisions."

Changes to the laws are set to be submitted to the International FA Board in March.

On the subject of fair play, Beckenbauer added on "There were a number of points on the agenda, including the subject of fair play, and we discussed what needs to be done better in the future.

"What we saw last year was terrible, including in the most important match of the past four years, namely the 2010 FIFA World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands in South Africa.

"The way the two teams behaved in the first half was awful. It was meant to be a good advertisement for the game of football but it was totally the opposite.

"The final of the Copa Libertadores in South America was similar and things like that do not belong on a football pitch, they need to be sanctioned."