Arsene Wenger will attempt to make a major change to the offside law in time for this summer’s Euro Championships.
The former Arsenal manager is now head of global development at Fifa – world football’s governing body – and is charged with overseeing the Laws of the Game. He is proposing that offside should be called only if there is daylight between a defender and an attacking player; a player will be deemed onside if any part of the body which can legitimately score a goal is level or behind the last defender – even if other parts are in front.
His move follows a number of controversies involving the video assistant referee and tight calls, sometimes by the tip of a boot or armpit. His idea will be debated at the International FA Board meeting on February 29.
“The most difficult issue that people have with VAR is the offside rule,” Wenger told The Times. “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 the other parts of the attacker’s body are in front.”
The need to tweak VAR has also been heightened by its greater application.

It will be used when the Europa League knockout games start on Thursday. English trio Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolves, as well as Scottish pair Celtic and Rangers, have qualified for the last-32 stage of the competition.
Uefa’s referees committee chairman Roberto Rosetti said the VAR system had been successful in the Champions League this season, which paved the way for its use in the Europa League.
“We believe that VAR is a crucial project for football,” Rosetti said. “I am very glad that we will now also have VAR in the Europa League, as it will provide vital help for referees to take correct decisions in these important matches.
“We’re very happy with the figures that we’ve seen in the UEFA Champions League group phase and play-offs – in 108 matches in total, 27 decisions have been corrected through the VAR system, which means that a decision has only been overturned every four matches – this shows the quality of the referees’ performances.
“In addition, we feel that the time taken to overturn a decision is important. So far this season, the average time for the correction of a decision has been one minute 30 seconds – 15 seconds less than last season.

“However, I would emphasise once more that – in compliance with its protocol – VAR is only for clear and obvious mistakes, and not for controversial situations.
“Football needs good referees above all – match officials with a strong personality on the field of play, who take correct and courageous decisions.”
Europe’s top referees studied VAR analysis and training at a Uefa winter course in Majorca last month. The officials were also given an update on VAR procedures.
In addition to this season’s European club competitions, VAR is also be used at the Women’s Champions League final, Euro 2020 and next year’s Women’s European Championship.
UEFA’s executive committee has also decided to introduce VAR for Europe’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers, pending Fifa’s final approval.



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