FOOTBALL’S law-makers will this week attempt to sort out the offside chaos after another weekend of controversy.
Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City team were left furious that Bruno Fernandes’ game-changing leveller was allowed to stand in the Old Trafford derby defeat despite an offside Marcus Rashford marshalling the ball towards goal.
Ref Stuart Attwell ruled that Rashford had not interfered or impeded any City defender.
But the decision was the latest offside call to cause controversy.
The previous weekend saw Mo Salah score an “offside” goal in the FA Cup draw with Wolves after it was deemed that defender Toti had “deliberately” played his wayward clearing header.
And the lack of consistency across football in many countries sees the International FA Board under pressure to bring some certainty when it meets at Wembley on Wednesday.
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The “business meeting” comes ahead of the March AGM when formal Law changes for next season will be agreed.
But one prominent Ifab insider conceded that offside was a “grey area that needs to be addressed”.
The first move will be confirmation of the guidelines for what determines a “deliberate” defensive play, with more concrete examples of what is viewed as a block or attempted interception – which would NOT be deliberate.
That would probably have seen the Salah goal chalked off, as Toti was stretching for a misdirected header aware that the Liverpool man was behind him.
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But Saturday’s events at Old Trafford have heightened the need for more guidance to officials over where an attacking player is or is not deemed to be interfering with play.
The City defence stopped because they expected the flag to be raised against Rashford before keeper Ederson came out to narrow the angle.
City could not believe the decision to award the goal after assistant Darren Cann – thinking Rashford had played the ball – raised his flag before Attwell intervened.
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