Time to consider a reform of the Offside Trap?

Cristiano Ronaldo“Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal for Real Madrid against Racing last week summed up the ludicrous nature of the off-side law in its present form for me.”

“When he can stand unmarked, 35 yards beyond defenders who have pushed out, and then run legitimately onto the ball to score a goal from a position that gives him a clear, unfair advantage over the defence, then something’s clearly wrong.”

I have to say that I agree with Andy Gray’s comments made last week. It would be fair to say that the situation has become so confused that you would struggle to find a player, manager, coach or referee that would be able to give you a definite definition of what qualifies for on or offside.

With so much controversy surrounding goals being scored at the moment is it now time for UEFA or FIFA to intervene and clear up what Andy Gray calls “muddied waters.” As long as there is doubt, you can’t blame the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo who try to exploit the uncertainty.

In March of this year FIFA president Sepp Blatter held talks with Leandre Negre president of World Hockey and discussed replicating hockey’s move to abolish the off-side rule altogether. The move proved more exciting and attractive for the spectators of the game. Getting rid of the off-side rule would eliminate the idea of the beautiful game and promote route one football!

I whole heartedly disagree with abolishing the off-side rule completely. Still, the rule in its current form is causing too much controversy and needs to be sured up. I never want the game to be so black and white that there is little room for debate and manoeuvre, but I am calling for changes.

As the rule stands “A manager is now well within his right to tell his striker ‘don’t worry too much about getting back on-side because if we break we’ll try to play the ball down the flank and you can sneak in the way Ronaldo did and get your goal.”

How’s this for an option? A line between the half-way line and the 18 yard box. It would mean players could not be off side between these two lines. Would this not spread the game out whilst preventing teams from playing long balls up to their front men? Sometimes when goal kicks are being taken it is clear to see that all the out field players are congested around the half way line. Would this put a stop to so many controversial goals? It’s only a thought!

So what changes can be made? Do we introduce video technology? Do we introduce even more officials? Tell me!

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