Offside rule to be re-worded to avoid misinterpretation
There is sometimes uncertainly over when a player is interfering with play
One of the most controversial rules in football is set to be changed next month when the game's lawmakers attempt to clarify when a player should be judged offside.
The International FA Board has been asked by FIFA to make it clearer for referees to rule when a player in an offside position is interfering with play or not. The world governing body believes the current wording leaves too much room for interpretation by referees.
As it stands, the ruling states a player is judged to be interfering by "clearly obstructing an opponent's vision or movements, or making a gesture or movement which in the opinion of the referee deceives or distracts an opponent".
FIFA's proposed new wording drops any reference to a referee's opinion, simply stating: "a player is judged to be interfering by 'clearly obstructing an opponent's vision or challenging an opponent for the ball"'.
The new wording should make it easier for a player in an offside position to be judged as not interfering with an opponent.
The IFAB meeting in Edinburgh on March 2 will also have an update on the first use of goal-line technology at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December - it is understood that all the goals scored were registered correctly by the equipment.
The board is made up of the four home nations, which each have one vote, and FIFA - which has four votes - and it will also debate how to respond to calls to make it more transparent and democratic.
Germany's Theo Zwanziger, tasked with recommending reforms to FIFA's statutes, has identified IFAB as being ripe for reform and called the make-up of the 127-year-old organisation anachronistic.
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