FIFA set to modify offside law
FIFA are planning a major change to the offside law this summer, according to German football magazine kicker.
The current interpretation of the Law 11, as noted on the official FIFA website, states that a player is offside when the ball "rebounds off an opponent to [the] attacker" if the attacker has previously been in an offside position.
It is currently not seen as an offence if an opponent interferes with a planned and intentional action by the defender - such as the ball being cleared - as the attacking player had previously been in a passive position.
According to the report, the law will no longer differentiate between an intentional nor non-intentional "defending action" which should make life easier for referees, coaches and spectators. Only if the defending player is clearly continuing with play and makes an error can the attacking player play the ball. So a defender would have to have control of the ball and essentially enter a new phase of play for the attacker to become active.
German referees' chief Herbert Fandel is expecting to receive a letter from FIFA over the next couple of days in time to brief officials during a pre-season camp in Bavaria next week.
The German season starts on the weekend of August 10, with the fixture list revealed at 11am BST this Friday.