Sports Letters: Football's offside law

Sir: I missed the earlier correspondence on the offside law. On reading Paul White's comments (Sports Letters, 14 January) I think that the re-marking of pitches would be quite unnecessary. Surely the simplest way to create more penalty- box activity is to treat all direct free-kicks (eg for fouls) in the same way as a throw-in. At present, a foul committed generally leads to defenders pushing up to the halfway line and often results in another free-kick being given when forwards are caught offside. By ruling that no offside shall count if the ball is played directly from a free- kick, the defenders would no longer be free to squeeze play into 10 yards either side of the halfway line. Forwards would be able to get as far forward as they like and the team which had given away the free-kick would stand more chance of being punished.

Yours sincerely,




17 January