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Arsène Wenger wants to change the offside rule

Speaking in an interview with L’Équipe, FIFA’s Head of Football Development Arsène Wenger confirmed that he wants to see changes to the offside rule.

“I think that the new rule that allows you to play in the box from the start of play within 5.5m has profoundly changed play. I have to admit that I did not see it coming. This has consequences. The real playmaker now is the goalkeeper. And instead of looking to play as quickly as possible in the opposition half, you are looking to create space in your own box. This has created dangerous situations because teams press very hard, so well that they leave a lot of space. And this rule, which was innocent at the start, has profoundly turned the game upside down.”

“For the moment, you are offside if a part of your body that you can score with sits ahead of the body of a defender. I would like it to be that there is no offside so long as a (single) body part which a player can score with is in line with the defender. This could be too much of an advantage for an attacker, because that obliges the defenders to play higher up. We are also considering other things: an in-swinging corner that goes out of play and comes back in could be made valid, this would create new goalscoring opportunities. There is also the option of quickly playing a free-kick to yourself. I would also like to change the throw-in rule: five minutes before the end, a throw-in for you should be an advantage, but in these situations you are facing 10 outfield players in play, whilst you only have 9. Stats show that in 8 out of 10 of those throw-in situations, you lose the ball. In your half of the pitch, you should have the possibility to take a kick instead.”

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