Arsène Wenger wants to rush through a huge change to the offside rule so that it can be in place in time for Euro 2020.

Wenger is now Fifa’s chief of global development, meaning he is in charge of overseeing the Laws of the Game for world football’s governing body.

And according to The Times, the former Arsenal boss is proposing that there should be daylight between an attacking player and a defender in order for an offside offence to have been committed.

This would mean that if an attacker’s head, torso or legs (ie any part of their body which can legally score a goal) is in line with the defender, they should be judged onside.

At the moment, if any part of an attacker’s body – including their armpit – is ahead of the defender, they are flagged offside.

Wenger is reportedly hoping to redress the balance, which has led to approximately three times as many goals being disallowed as reinstated by VAR, largely due to very marginal offside decisions.


“The most difficult [issue] that people have [with VAR] is the offside rule,” the 70-year-old Frenchman said back in December.

“You have had offsides by a fraction of a centimetre, literally by a nose. It is the time to do this quickly. There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player’s nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that.

“Instead, you will be not offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker’s body are in front.

“That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line.”

Fifa will present Wenger’s proposal at a meeting with the International FA Board (Ifab) on 29 February and if it is passed, it could be effective as early as 1 June – 12 days before Italy face Turkey in the opening match of Euro 2020.


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