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Emeka Nnaike

Football’s rule-making body IFAB has decided to undertake a major review of the offside law in order to “foster the spirit of attacking play”.

IFAB (International Football Association Board) will hold consultations over the next 12 months on the law with proposals expected at the end of that process.

At the 134th general meeting of the lawmaking body in Belfast, David Elleray, who is technical director at IFAB, said the aim was to look at offside in a philosophical manner given the introduction of VAR.

“Assistant referees were always told (in the past), ‘if in doubt, give the benefit of doubt to the attacking team’. What technology, VAR and non-VAR, has done is actually take that doubt away.

“Ideas about how you judge offside, in one sense, won’t change because you will always have the question of where do you draw the line?

“Football is saying to us that we don’t think that your toe being two centimetres in front of the end of a defender is a significant enough advantage to be penalised.

“It is not going to change the accuracy it is saying, philosophically how do we want offside? Is it appropriate for us to say, can we change the law to restore more benefit to attacking football?”

The organisation also said it will try out the use of additional substitutions for concussion cases with FIFA saying it is ready to introduce trials at this year’s Olympic Games starting in July.

The idea is for any withdrawal of a concussed player not to count against a team’s regular total of three subs.

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