beachesl Posted January 7, 2005 Share Posted January 7, 2005 FIFA to discuss major change to offside law By Mike Collett LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - A major change to football's offside law is on the agenda when FIFA's law-makers meet in Cardiff next month. The proposal, from the Football Association of Wales, is that a player can only be offside if they are in the opponent's penalty area. If accepted by the game's global governing body, the change would have an even bigger impact on the sport than the last major alteration to the offside law in 1925. That change reduced from three to two the number of players from the defending team needed to be between the attacker with the ball and the goalline in the opponent's half. It was introduced to end a lack of goals being scored in the game and had a huge impact with far more goals being scored before teams adapted their tactics to deal with it. The law-making International Board, established in 1886, comprises eight seats; the four British associations and an equal number from FIFA. Any proposal needs at least six votes to become law. The British have such a large representation in recognition of their role in originally codifying the laws of the game. BUSY AGENDA The busy agenda for the meeting in Cardiff on February 26 also includes a proposal to change the punishment for a "professional foul". The Welsh are proposing that players be booked rather than sent off for denying an opponent an obvious scoring opportunity but that the attacking team be awarded a penalty, so having the scoring opportunity "returned" to them. It would also stop matches being spoilt by having so many goalkeepers sent off for these type of offences. FIFA also want to stop time-wasting and the meeting will discuss yellow cards for attacking players who pick the ball out of the net after a goal is scored and for any player who "deliberately touches" the ball after a free-kick, corner or throw-in is awarded against his side. The Board is also expected to look at technological equipment, designed to rule whether the ball has crossed the line for a goal, during their stay in Cardiff. The trial will be shown to members at the Millennium Stadium where the English League Cup final is being played on February 27 but the technology will not be used in the match. Any decisions taken by the Board become law the following July 1 but major changes are usually tested in junior and youth level matches for two or three seasons before being integrated into the game at senior or professional level. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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