FIFA president Gianni Infantino has hinted that he is in favour of introducing Arsene Wenger’s ‘daylight’ offside law proposal, admitting that he is willing to discuss possible changes to the current offside rule.
There has been plenty of controversy in the Premier League this season regarding offsides, despite (or because of) the use of the Video Assistant Referee. A number of goals have already been ruled out by the finest of margins, leaving teams and players feeling aggrieved.
As a result, FIFA’s chief of global football development Arsene Wenger recently proposed the ‘daylight’ rule. Under the new approach, if any part of an attacker’s body that can score is in line with the defender then they would be judged onside.
And with the current offside rule continuing to cause controversy, FIFA president Infantino has now backed the former Arsenal manager’s proposal.
“I’m certainly in favour of discussing a new way of looking at the offside rule, to see if it can help, because I think the issue is more an issue of understanding,” Infantino said as he arrived in Belfast for Saturday’s annual general meeting of the International Football Association Board, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“Some of [the decisions] are very, very close and it’s difficult for the people who are watching to see whether it’s offside, so we have to look at whether we can make the offside rule clearer by having light in between.”
It is worth noting that there can be no change to the offside law at this weekend’s meeting, as any alterations would need to go through a set process.
However, when asked about whether some leeway could be introduced on VAR reviews in order to improve the current process of decision-making, Infantino explained that this wouldn’t solve the issue.
He said: “Even if you put a margin of 10 centimetres and then if it’s 11, it’s still one more, if it’s 10 and a half…so it doesn’t solve it. It should be clear.”
The use of VAR, and the decisions it has come to this season, are continuing to cause outrage in the Premier League – but Infantino was quick to point out that this isn’t the case in other European leagues. However, once again, he reiterated that it is something that can be solved.
Infantino continued: “In Italy, in Spain, in Portugal, in Germany this offside discussion is not existing on the VAR. But it’s not a problem, it’s something to look into. And maybe it shows that actually it’s more a question of the rule and the application of the rule, and application of the VAR itself.”