Sports Letter: Put your flag down, linesman

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The Independent Online
Sir: Can I ask a stupid question? What is the offside rule designed to do for football? I ask this as at the moment it seems to spoil the game in a number of ways, for example, goals being disallowed, abuse being hurled at linesmen, etc. It is time we looked at a better way of achieving the aims the offside law was designed for without all the negative features of the offside law.

I can see very little merit in the offside law and think it should be abolished, with perhaps the only restriction that you can only be offside from balls played from your own half. I believe this would be sufficient to eliminate goal hangers waiting for long balls played from their own half.

The result of that would be more goals and an end to defences playing the offside trap, which is one of the more boring aspects of the game.

Rakesh Chhabra

London

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