(Telegraph) — Arsene Wenger, the footballing lawmaker at Fifa, is calling for radical reforms on offside, free-kicks and new rules to swap throw-ins for “kick-ins” as part of his vision for the game.
The former Arsenal manager, who is now the governing body’s head of global development, listed off a surprise manifesto for change during an interview in France.
“I would like it to be that there is no offside so long as a (single) body part which a player can score with is in line with the defender,” he told L’Equipe. “This could be too much of an advantage for an attacker, because that obliges the defenders to play higher up.”
Other options include allowing an in-swinging corner that goes out of play and comes back to be made valid to “create new goalscoring opportunities”, he added.
His proposed change to free-kick situations was said to be the option of quickly playing a “free-kick to yourself”.
“I would also like to change the throw-in rule: five minutes before the end, a throw-in for you should be an advantage, but in these situations you are facing 10 outfield players in play, whilst you only have 9,” he added. “Stats show that in 8 out of 10 of those throw-in situations, you lose the ball. In your half of the pitch, you should have the possibility to take a kick instead.”
He also said rules allowing goalkeepers to kick to their teammates within the box had “turned the game upside down”. “I think that the new rule that allows you to play in the box from the start of play within five metres has profoundly changed play,” he said in an interview with the French newspaper L’Equipe.
At the start of the 2019 season, the International Football Association Board scrapped rules the ball was only “in play” once it had cleared the penalty area. Since then, goalkeepers have been able to play it short to teammates inside the box. “The real playmaker now is the goalkeeper,” Wenger observed.