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Football | International

Sepp Blatter © Reuters Images

Fifa considers changing offside law



Fifa's rules-making panel will consider changing how the offside law is interpreted at its annual meeting next month to clarify when attackers can legally influence play.

Fifa said Monday the panel, known as IFAB, will also examine closing a loophole regarding uncontested dropped balls after a controversial goal scored by Shakhtar Donetsk against Nordsjaelland in the Champions League in November.

A progress report on introducing goal-line technology before the 2014 World Cup will be submitted when the rules body meets March 1-2 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The group comprises officials from Fifa and the four British football associations.

The main proposal comes from Fifa's refereeing department to clarify the interpretation of rules regarding attackers standing in an offside position.

Proposals state that an attacker should be considered offside when "gaining an advantage by being in that position." This would include receiving the ball from a rebound or deflection from the goal frame or a player in the defending team attempting a tackle, block or save.

However, an attacker should be allowed to continue play when receiving a deliberate pass, such as a backpass, from the defending team.

"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," the proposed new text of "Law 11 - Offside" states.

Fifa said the Denmark Football Association made a proposal after one of the most disputed goals of the season.

Shakhtar forward Luiz Adriano provoked outrage when he ignored the sportsmanship code against Nordsjaelland after play was stopped to treat an injured opponent. After play restarted with an uncontested drop ball, he chased the ball down and scored when the Danish champion's defenders stopped to let it to reach their goalkeeper.

Uefa accepted that the Brazilian forward acted within the laws of football yet banned him for one Champions League match and ordered him to perform one day of community football service.

The Danish proposal calls on IFAB to ensure that a goal cannot be allowed if one team expecting to receive the ball after the uncontested drop has not touched it.

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