Nineteen years ago the Hockey World Cup saw the official change in their off-side rule – in three stages of the off-side rule was totally abolished in 1998. FIFA has been discussing whether football (soccer) might follow suit.
Eight years ago in 2010 the then FIFA 's President Sepp Blatter was discussing this with the FIH (Federation International Hockey) in Switzerland where a discussion of Soccer's implementation of deleting the off-side rule might be a possibility.
The offside rule in hockey was amended in 1987 to apply only to the final 25 yards and was temporarily abolished in 1996 before being done away with altogether two years later (1998).
The result has been that the game has become more exciting and attractive to spectators, with play flowing more freely, fewer whistles and more space created in midfield.
FIFA amended the offside rule minimally in 2003, but referees and their assistants might welcome a rule change that could rid football of many of its debatable decisions.
Hockey enthusiasts says that by abolishing the 'off-side' rule did more for hockey than anyone might imagine.
This proposal for FIFA would create for soccer a fresh encounter whereby the advantage to the defenders would be reversed which it did for hockey. Score lines in hockey dramatically increased and the umpires whistle dramatically decreased allowing the game to flow more freely.
Many believe such a move in soccer would only enhance it as a spectator's sport.
Hockey also introduced the video replays while soccer has not followed this deployment - in FIFA's view allowing the natural course of events to be maintained rather than bringing in artificial adjudication (the third umpire).
FIFA met in Zurich in 2010 and voted down this scenario although some leagues have involved some aspects of video replay – it has been proven in legal cases against deliberate actions which amount to what might loosely be referred to as assault.
The difficulty therefore remains with FIFA whereby in the upcoming (Soccer) World Cup whereby the Final might be met in controversy without video replay -albeit from numerous different angles as in cricket and indeed hockey. Even tennis has video replays whether the ball falls outside the line.
Wes Tronson has been writing EPL soccer since 2009 and played soccer in England for 7 years before returning home to Australia at the end of 2010.
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