VAR: Arsene Wenger suggests offside law could ‘change a little bit’

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February 20, 2020
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    Arsene Wenger

    Wenger left Arsenal in May 2018 after 22 years in charge

    Fifa’s chief of global football development Arsene Wenger says there might be room to the change the offside law “a little bit” in response to video assistant referee controversy.

    VAR has contentiously ruled out a number of goals for marginal offences.

    “[I’m speaking about] the offside by a margin of a fraction of a centimetres,” said the former Arsenal manager.

    “Maybe there is room to change the offside rule a little bit so we don’t say a part of his nose was offside.”

    Wenger’s role at the world governing body includes sitting on the technical panel of the International Football Association Board (Ifab), which sets football’s laws.

    World governing body Fifa told BBC Sport it had no update on the law. Ifab will hold its annual general meeting in Belfast on 29 February.

    Later on Wednesday, Wenger clarified that despite referring to potential improvements he was “well aware that any changes are subject to a standard approval process”.

    “My objective, as well as Fifa’s, is to continuously think about ways to improve our game and we shouldn’t be afraid to debate them in public,” he added.

    At present, a player is offside if any part of their body with which they can score is ahead of the second-last opponent – typically, this is the last opposing outfield player, because of the goalkeeper’s positioning.

    Wenger suggested amending the law so that “you will not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker’s body are in front”.

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    Wenger, speaking at the Laureus Awards, also said there were “not enough VAR specialists and that will improve very quickly”.

    He added “former referees have to be involved” and “experienced players” could also be used.

    Wolves boss Nuno backs Wenger’s proposal

    Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has given his support to Wenger’s VAR proposal.

    Nuno was speaking before his side’s Europa League last-32 first leg against Espanyol, with VAR technology set to be used in the competition for the first time on Thursday.

    “Everybody that is outside the decision-making of the law can give opinions and clearly the opinions are to improve, to make things better for everybody,” said the Portuguese.

    “So, if Arsene Wenger said that, I support it.”


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    February 20, 2020
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