FIFA amends the offside law..

Nistelrooy caused a lot of heartburn to the Italian team when he scored what looked to be a clearly offside goal against them in Euro 2008.There was however an injured Italian player lying behind the line when the goal was scored.Fierce controversy then followed over whether Nistelrooy was onside because of this player or not.Several unkind and totally unnecessary equine comparisions (inevitable when Nistelrooy is the subject of the discussion) were also made.FIFA has now stepped in at last to save the day.
The old offside Law read: When an offside offence occurs the referee awards an indirect free kick to be taken from the position of the offending player when the ball was last played to him by one of his teammates.
If a defending player steps behind his own goal line in order to place an opponent in an offside position, the referee must allow play to continue and caution the defender for deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission when the ball is next out of play.
The amendment to the law makes it clear that from now on, any defending player leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission shall be deemed to be still in play for the purposes of determining whether an attacker can be adjudged to be in an offside position.Thus Nistelrooy like situations will be open and shut cases and there will be no more horsing around.Whoops there’s the equine comparision creeping in again..

The amendment to Law 11 reads: When an offside offence occurs the referee awards an indirect free kick to be taken from the position of the offending player when the ball was last played to him by one of his teammates.
Any defending player leaving the field of play for any reason without the referee’s permission shall be considered to be on his own goal line or touch line for the purposes of offside until the next stoppage in play. If the player leaves the field of play deliberately, he must be cautioned when the ball is next out of play.

Other amendments to some other laws can be viewed here..

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