Offside rule Soccer FIFA

The law change, which was presented to officials at a conference named ‘Realising Your Potential’, omits the ambiguous wording of ‘obstructing the opponent’s line of movements or making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent’.

This part of the offside law, referring to what constitutes ‘interfering with an opponent’ had previously been left too open to the subjective interpretation of officials and has now been replaced by ‘challenging an opponent for the ball.’

Less uncertainty should be provided by the clarification of what the assistant referee must consider when judging whether a forward has ‘gained an advantage by being in an offside position’.

Last season, Sir Alex Ferguson was unhappy after James Milner's opener in the Manchester derby was allowed to stand. The City midfielder's rocket deflected off Michael Carrick and flew into the back of David de Gea's net.

Unhappy: Sir Alex Ferguson was disappointed when Carlos Tevez appeared to be in an offside position as James Milner (front) struck an opener at Old Trafford for Manchester City last seasonGame over: Sergio Aguero netted the winner against United late in the match last season

But Ferguson claimed the goal should have been chalked off, as Carlos Tevez - in an offside position - drifted across the Spanish goalkeeper's line of vision at the moment Milner pulled the trigger.

'The first goal, the player is right in front of David de Gea, ' said Ferguson. 'There is no way the linesman on that side is giving it but if that is not interference I don't know what is.'

Game over: Sergio Aguero netted the winner against United late in the match last seasonIn addition to the already established principles that a forward – should he find himself in an offside position - is offside if a ball rebounds to him off the woodwork or from a rebound to him off an opponent, the new wording also makes clear that a deliberate save or deflection rebounding to an opponent in an offside position means that the linesman must raise his flag.

Unhappy: Ferguson claimed Milner's goal should have been chalked off at Old Trafford

The gathering officials were also treated to a demonstration of the new hawk-eye system that will be implemented in the Premier League from the start of 2013-14 season, with referees said to be ‘delighted’ by the introduction of the goal-line technology.

Meanwhile, some referees have taken the close-season as an opportunity to sharpen up on their fitness, with one official telling Sportsmail that Premier League referee Phil Dowd ‘looked like a new man’ at the London conference after losing almost two stone in a bid to keep up with the rigorous demands of PGMOL bosses.

Last year, Dowd, 50, saw his future thrown into doubt after failing a post-season fitness test but he was allowed to officiate in the Premier League after proving his fitness later on in the summer.

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Q&A

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What is the offsides rule in soccer?

A player is in an offside position if: * he is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent

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What is the offside rule in soccer?

A player is in an offside position if: he is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent.

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What is an offside rule in soccer?

"offsides" means that the ball was being passed to you when you where behind the last defender of the opposing team. When you are offsides, the play stops and the opposing team gets a free-kick from where the ball was passed. This prevents "cherry-picking".

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