The changes relate to what constitutes ‘deliberate’ contact from an opposition player. A player in an otherwise offside position can become onside if the ball is deliberately played in their direction by an opponent, creating a new phase of play.
FIFA and the International FA Board (IFAB) have shared example clips of “deliberate” and “not deliberate” contact to illustrate the latest clarifications and Harry Kane’s penalty win vs Germany in the Nations League was one of them.
Kane was in an offside position when pulled to the ground while attempting to reach a Jack Grealish cross, but the ball had come off a defender on its path towards him, meaning he was technically now onside and able to win the penalty.
Under the new rule, though, Kane would still have been offside, and no penalty would have been awarded.
A statement from FIFA and the IFAB reads: “Following a number of high-profile situations and based on the expectation that a player who is clearly in an offside position should not become ‘onside’ on all occasions when an opponent moves and touches the ball, The IFAB and FIFA, after discussions with football stakeholders, have clarified the guidelines for distinguishing between ‘deliberate play’ and ‘deflection.”
The law will be in place in the Premier League from the start of 2022/23 on August 5th and is sure to cause debate amongst, fans, pundits, players and managers.