EDINBURGH: Whether yet another change in the wording of the offside law will achieve the aim of clarifying the contentious issue of interference with play must wait until next season.

Football’s law-makers decided, at the annual meeting of the International Board, to delete and replace four lines of text currently within Law 11.

IFAB considered the current wording not precise enough and the new version is as follows:

 “interfering with play” means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate

 “interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or challenging an opponent for the ball.

 “gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball

(i) that rebounds or is deflected to him off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent having been in an offside position

(ii) that rebounds, deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside position.

A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.

This will come into effect, as with all amendments to the Laws of the Game, from July 1.

IFAB also noted a report on the ongoing use in some competitions of additional assistant referees, reiterated that a final decision will be made next year as planned on the senior competition use by Muslim women players of approved headscarves but postponed a proposal to review Law 8 relating to a drop-all restart of play.

A working group is to review the full Laws of the Game to improve layout and clarity.


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