Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has strongly criticised Arsene Wenger's proposed change to how offside works in the VAR era.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger, appointed chief of global football development at FIFA in November, said a tweak should be made after this season's implementation of VAR in the Premier League led to many goals being ruled out for marginal offsides.

"There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player's nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that," Wenger said at the recent Laureus Sports Awards. 

"Instead, you will not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker's body are in front. That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line."

According to Hasenhuttl, Wenger's idea would not solve any problems at all.

"The only rule that really works in VAR is the offside," said Hasenhuttl.

"And we want to change this? I don't know why. It's the only black-and-white decision which is always right or wrong. The rest is subjective.

"If we change it the way he wants to do it, we can stop playing offside because it won't work anymore.

"It will change the game massively in my opinion. The only thing that really works well at the moment is the decision about offside. And everything else we must discuss more."

The body that governs football's global laws, the International Football Association Board, has ruled out an imminent change to the offside law, with its annual general meeting due to be held in Belfast on February 29.

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke have been indicted over the awarding of World Cup and Confederations Cup rights.

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has charged Valcke with accepting bribes, several counts of aggravated criminal mismanagement and the falsification of documents.

Al-Khelaifi, who also serves as the chairman of the beIN Media Group and is on the UEFA Executive Committee, and an unnamed businessman have been charged with inciting Valcke "to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement".

The unnamed businessman has also been charged with bribery, although similar charges against Al-Khelaifi relating to the World Cup tournaments in 2026 and 2030 have been dropped.

The OAG opened an investigation in 2017, a year after Valcke was sacked by FIFA after he was found guilty of breaching the governing body's ethics code on a number of occasions.

A statement from the OAG on Thursday read: "The investigations revealed that Valcke had received undue advantages from both co-accused.

"Valcke was refunded the down payment of around €500,000 that he had made to a third party on the purchase of a villa in Sardinia, after Al-Khelaifi had purchased the villa through a company instead of Valcke.

"Valcke then received from Al-Khelaifi the exclusive right to use the villa for a period of 18 months – until he was suspended by FIFA – without having to pay an estimated rent in between about €900,000 and about €1.8million.

"From the third accused, Valcke received three payments totalling about €1.25m to his company Sportunited LLC."

The statement went on to explain that Valcke's criminal mismanagement charge related to the fact he "had not reported the mentioned advantages that he received to FIFA". Al-Khelaifi and the unnamed businessman have been charged with this corresponding incitement.

Valcke has also been charged with “paying and accepting bribes” based on an allegation that “between 2013 and 2015 [he] exploited his position as Secretary General of FIFA to influence the award of media rights for Italy and Greece for various World Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup tournaments in the period between 2018 and 2030 in order to favour media partners that he preferred.”

It was also confirmed FIFA had withdrawn its criminal complaint against Al-Khelaifi and also partially against Valcke relating to the separate alleged bribery of private individuals.

That criminal complaint, which was in connection to allegations over the awarding of media rights for the 2026 and 2030 World Cups, was withdrawn after FIFA reached "an amicable agreement" with Al-Khelaifi.

The OAG statement added: "The accused are presumed innocent until a judgment enters into force."

Following the OAG's announcement, Al-Khelaifi released a statement that read: "After an exhaustive three-year investigation, where I have fully and openly cooperated with the Public Prosecutor in Switzerland, I am pleased that all charges of bribery in connection with the 2026 and 2030 World Cups have been dropped. As I have said vehemently and repeatedly for three years, the charges have not – and have never had – any basis whatsoever, either in fact or law.

"It is now – finally – indisputable fact that the 2026 and 2030 agreements were negotiated at arms-lengths and without any improper influence in any form. After the most forensic public, private, lawful and unlawful scrutiny of all my dealings, I have been cleared of all suspicions of bribery and the case has been dismissed definitively and conclusively."

Al-Khelaifi continued: "While a secondary technical charge remains outstanding, I have every expectation that this will be proven completely groundless and without any substance whatsoever, in the same way as the primary case.

"While I have cooperated with all authorities during the legal process, the three-year investigation has been characterised by constant leaks, misinformation and a seemingly relentless agenda to smear my reputation in the media – completely irrespective of the facts and the notion of due process. For that reason, I have requested the relevant Swiss authorities to open a criminal enquiry into the conduct of the investigation. I also reserve the right to take action against certain media who for three years have repeatedly published factually-unsupported and highly damaging articles, often based on illegally-sourced and – quite remarkably in some cases – faked and fabricated materials, to satisfy their narrative of my supposed guilt."

The body that governs football's global laws has ruled out any imminent alteration to the offside rule after Arsene Wenger proposed change following a host of VAR controversies.

Former Arsenal boss Wenger, who is now FIFA's chief of global football development, suggested a player should not automatically be ruled offside if a part of their body that can be used to score a goal has moved beyond the relevant defender.

Wenger said: "There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player's nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that. Instead, you will be not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker's body are in front.

"That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line."

Wenger has always had a prominent voice in the game, but he now holds office within world football's governing body, which adds weight to such propositions.

The Frenchman, who was speaking at the Laureus Awards, said it was "time to do this quickly", which has been interpreted as hoping the change could come before Euro 2020.

Yet the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has indicated a rule change is unlikely to be rushed through.

An IFAB annual general meeting in Belfast on February 29 will be the first point at which Wenger's idea can be discussed. with the ongoing use of VAR and its 'possible future developments' on the agenda.

However, that summit in Northern Ireland will not see the offside rule overhauled.

IFAB general secretary Lukas Brud told Sky Sports News: "There will be no law change regarding offside at this month's annual general meeting.

"We welcome Mr Wenger's views and look forward to discussing it, as a group.

"But our AGM is a point of discussion on offside and any law change will follow only after further dialogue in the game over the coming months."

The video assistant referee system has resulted in frustration for players, fans and coaches alike this season, with a host of goals disallowed for marginal offside decisions.

Olivier Giroud saw a header ruled out in Chelsea's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United on Monday after a check showed part of his foot was offside.

There have also been instances in the Premier League where goals have been disallowed due to attackers being measured offside from their armpits.

The current rule states: "A player is in an offside position if: any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponents’ half (excluding the halfway line) and any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent."

Arsene Wenger is proposing a change to the rules to reduce the number of marginal offside calls going against attacking players.

Wenger, appointed Chief of Global Football Development at FIFA in November, wants the law to change so that a player would be onside if any part of their body with which they can score a goal is level or behind the relevant defender.

The former Arsenal manager, who would apparently be keen to see the amendment brought in before Euro 2020 begins in June, believes changes are needed to stop goals being disallowed after players are penalised for fractional infringements by VAR.

"The most difficult [problem] that people have [with VAR] is the offside rule," Wenger said at the Laureus Sports Awards. "You have had offsides by a fraction of a centimetre, literally by a nose. It is the time to do this [change] quickly.

"There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player's nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that. Instead, you will be not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker's body are in front.

"That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line."

The offside rule is expected to be discussed by football's lawmaking body IFAB, which meets in Belfast on February 29.

Wenger's suggestion comes after more recent fan frustration over goals that have been disallowed for marginal offsides following VAR checks.

Olivier Giroud saw a header ruled out in Chelsea's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United on Monday after a check showed part of his foot was offside.

There have also been instances in the Premier League where goals have been disallowed due to attackers being measured offside from their armpits.

Roberto Firmino had such a goal ruled out in Liverpool's win over Aston Villa in November, while Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki was similarly punished against Tottenham in a match that finished 2-2.

FIFA has revealed a record amount was spent on transfers in 2019, with deals for Eden Hazard, Antoine Griezmann and Joao Felix topping the bill.

A report issued by world football's governing body on Wednesday revealed $7.35billion (£5.6billion) was spent by clubs in the transfer market in 2019, an increase of 5.8 per cent on the previous year.

The study also confirmed that English clubs spent the most, though the total figure of $1.52billion (£1.14billion) was a 22.1 per cent decrease from 2018.

Joao Felix's €126million transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid – who sold Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona for €120m – was the biggest deal of 2019, while Hazard left Chelsea for Real Madrid in a deal reportedly worth €100m.

Harry Maguire became the world's most expensive defender with a reported £80m switch from Leicester City to Manchester United, while Ajax sold young stars Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong to Juventus and Barcelona respectively for an initial €75m each.

There was also a rise of 16.3 per cent in spending in the women's game, with over 800 transfers made in total.

Belgium have been crowned FIFA's Team of the Year for finishing top of the world rankings for the second December in a row.

Roberto Martinez's side will end 2019 at the top of the standings after winning all 10 of their international 'A' matches this year to secure qualification for Euro 2020.

World champions France conclude the year in second place, with Brazil third, England fourth and Uruguay fifth.

World Cup runners-up Croatia and Nations League Finals winners Portugal join Spain, Argentina and Colombia in the top 10.

The Mover of the Year accolade goes to Qatar, who gained 138 rankings points over the course of 2019.

The World Cup 2022 hosts won the Asian Cup in February as they climbed 38 places up the rankings. That was the biggest jump recorded by any team, ahead of Algeria (up 32) and Japan (up 22).

Europe's dominance of the top 50 has diminished this year. UEFA nations make up 28 of the top 50 teams, down three on last year, while CONCACAF, AFC and CAF (all with four) have each gained one place each.

The first FIFA rankings of the new decade will be released on February 20.

Yaya Toure has revealed he is reluctant to let his children play football because of the fear they will be racially abused.

The former Manchester City and Barcelona midfielder said he would gladly work with the likes of UEFA and FIFA to combat racism in the game.

Speaking to Omnisport at the Club World Cup in Qatar, Toure also revealed his worry that racism will persist in Italy, where attempts to curb the problem have been frequently hamfisted.

"I'm sometimes emotional about this because racism is something that hurts me all the time," Toure said.

"Because my kids want to play football and want to be a footballer, and I say to him, 'Look, can you not do that?'.

"Sometimes I have to accept it, because I'm refusing him to play football why? Because of this kind of thing."

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport recently faced criticism for its 'Black Friday' front-page headline, trailing the clash of Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling in Inter's match with Roma.

And the efforts of Serie A to mount an anti-racism campaign backfired when it used artwork of monkeys as a focal point of its campaign.

Asked about racism in Italy, Toure said: "They're going to continue it. They'll continue it. You just have to understand. Three months ago I was in a conference and there were some people from the federation in Italy who just talked about it. I talked with them and what to do with Lukaku sometimes, or some of the players who don't like it.

"I think they can be better but you have to teach them. It's just about the fans. People tell them they have to be educated but it's different. It's not integration; it's about something different."

The 36-year-old Ivorian said footballers should be free to perform in an environment where "players can express themselves", and added, when asked if he would work with FIFA and UEFA: "Definitely - I want to work with them now."

Toure did not spare World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar from his criticism of the state of the game, citing it and Iraq as being among countries where women are left to feel excluded from football.

He said: "In football, to play something you have to enjoy it, because men or women ... have to play and enjoy and be herself."

FIFA is suing former its former president Sepp Blatter and ex-vice president Michel Platini in an attempt to reclaim a €1.8million "gift" the Swiss Federal Supreme Court called an "undue payment".

The 2011 payment, which was given to Platini, led to both men receiving substantial bans from football activities in 2015.

After appeals, Blatter's ban was reduced to six years and Platini's came down to four years, with both originally set at eight.

FIFA's governance committee last month ruled the world's governing body was "duty-bound to try to recover the funds", which Blatter and Platini had claimed were paid under an oral agreement, rather than being written into contract.

And following backing by Switzerland's Federal Supreme Court, FIFA has filed claims against the disgraced former dignitaries.

A FIFA statement read: "FIFA has today filed claims in the relevant Swiss courts against former FIFA president Joseph Blatter and former FIFA vice-president Michel Platini, seeking restitution of the CHF 2 million unduly paid to Mr Platini back in February 2011.

"This follows the unanimous resolution recently adopted by the FIFA governance committee in which it emphasised that FIFA was duty-bound to try to recover the funds illicitly paid by one former official to another.

"Even the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has confirmed that this CHF 2 million [€1.8m] gift was to be viewed as an 'undue payment'.

"If and when successfully recovered, these funds (together with interest) will be fully channelled back into football development, which is where the money should have gone in the first place."

Brazil, Colombia and Japan will rival Australia and New Zealand for the right to host the 2023 Women's World Cup.

A joint bid from Football Federation Australia (FFA) and New Zealand Football (NZF) for the first 32-team edition of the competition was announced in Melbourne earlier on Friday.

FIFA has now confirmed that the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), Colombian Football Federation (FCF) and Japan Football Association (JFA) all submitted bids prior to the December 13 deadline.

A proposed joint bid from North and South Korea was not included in the final shortlist, with the Korea Football Association (KFA) having withdrawn their application, citing diplomatic tension between the two countries.

An assessment of the bids will now follow, which includes inspection visits to each member association, likely in January and February of next year.

The eligible bids will then be presented to the FIFA Council, which will select the host at a meeting in Addis Ababa in June 2020.

"France 2019 was certainly a watershed moment for women's football, and now it is FIFA's responsibility to take concrete measures to keep fostering the game's incredible growth," said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

"With the FIFA Women's World Cup generating an unprecedented interest across member associations, we are ensuring that the process to select the hosts is seamless, objective, ethical and transparent.

"By the time the FIFA Council announces the hosts, there should be no doubt whatsoever as to why that choice was made."

The United States won the 2019 World Cup, beating Netherlands 2-0 in the final in Lyon to defend the trophy they claimed in 2015.

Former Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ricardo Teixeira has been banned from football for life and fined one million Swiss francs by FIFA.

Teixeira, a former FIFA executive committee member and once the son-in-law of ex-president Joao Havelange, was found guilty of bribery by world football's governing body.

FIFA's ethics committee had been investigating the 72-year-old Teixeira over allegations he was involved in "bribery schemes, conducted during the 2006-2012 period, in relation to his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CBF, CONMEBOL and CONCACAF competitions".

In a statement released on Friday, FIFA said: "In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Teixeira had breached art. 27 (bribery) of the FIFA code of ethics (2018 edition) and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life on taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.

"Additionally, a fine in the amount of 1m CHF has been imposed on Mr Teixeira."

The fine equates to £770,000.

Teixeira, who denies wrongdoing, was elected CBF president in 1989 and remained in office until 2012. Brazil twice won the World Cup during that time, in 1994 and 2002.

He was also a member of the CONMEBOL executive committee.

Arsene Wenger has been confirmed as FIFA's chief of global football development.

Wenger, 70, spent 22 years in charge of Arsenal until 2018 and had been linked with the vacant managerial position at Bayern Munich in recent weeks, but instead he will take up a new position with the global governing body. 

During his time with the Gunners, Wenger was widely considered one of the world's greatest managers and among the most influential in Premier League history.

The Frenchman built a strong reputation for his forward-thinking style of play and for developing young players, and in his new position Wenger will be tasked with "driving growth" for men and women across the globe.

China will host a revamped Club World Cup in 2021, FIFA has announced.

The game's governing body made the announcement following a meeting in Shanghai on Thursday.

Although its prestige has often paled against other trophy targets for European sides, a redesigned Club World Cup will expand to 24 teams following the final two iterations of the existing seven-team format in Qatar in 2019 and 2020.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has strongly opposed the move, which is seen by some as an attempt to position the competition as a rival to Europe's Champions League.

Ceferin last year described FIFA as "behaving strangely", but Gianni Infantino, president of the global body, pressed ahead with rolling out plans for the new-look tournament.

It will be played between June and July 2021 and replaces the Confederations Cup, held every four years, on the international calendar.

A FIFA statement added: "The participation model to determine the clubs that qualify from each confederation will be finalised in a consultation process between FIFA and the six confederations."

The 2019 Club World Cup begins in Doha in December.

Meanwhile, FIFA confirmed the host for the 2030 World Cup will be chosen in 2024, at the 74th congress meeting, with the bidding process to be launched in the second quarter of 2022.

FIFPro has hailed the International Football Association Board (IFAB) after an expert group was set up to assess how head injuries are treated.

The football and technical advisory panels of the sport's law-making body have elected to study the possibility of making rule changes, which could include introducing concussion substitutes.

Issues raised with the possibility of using concussion substitutes have been based on sides bending the rules for tactical reasons, with IFAB confirming these concerns would be taken into account by the study group.

IFAB stated in a release: "The panels agreed that any solutions would have to take account of both player welfare and the need to ensure sporting fairness."

FIFPro lauded IFAB for their action in a statement.

It read: "FIFPro is pleased that IFAB has decided to set up an expert group to study rule changes that would better protect the health and safety of professional footballers who may have suffered a concussion.

"FIFPro Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gouttebarge has asked football authorities for six years to take more measures to protect footballers who have suffered a suspected concussion.

"A number of recent cases involving players in the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship qualifying and UEFA Champions League have highlighted how critical this issue is."

FIFPro has also pledged to continue their campaign for FIFA to introduce additional regulations relating head injuries, including the use of independent match doctors to assist team medical staff.

IFAB's action follows on from research commissioned by the Football Association and Professional Footballers' Association which showed players are more than three times likely to die of dementia than the general public.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for "new, stronger and more effective ways to eradicate racism in football" after England players were subjected to abuse in Bulgaria.

UEFA has charged the Bulgarian Football Union over racist behaviour by fans during England's 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win.

The game was halted twice before half-time and a group of supporters who made "monkey chants" and Nazi salutes were ejected from the ground.

Tuesday's fallout from those shameful scenes included BFU president Borislav Mihaylov resigning after Prime Minister Boyko Borissov threatened to cut funding if he did not step down.

FIFA pledged to extend any sanctions imposed by UEFA worldwide and Infantino, who previously fronted European football's governing body, suggested now is the time for football to take a harder line against racism, including life bans for any perpetrators.

"So many times we say there is no place for racism in football, but nonetheless we still face challenges to tackle this problem in our sport, as we do in society," he said.

"We will need the support of public authorities to help us identify and punish the culprits but we probably also need to think more broadly on what we can do to fix this. 

"When we proposed the three-step procedure in 2009 when I was at UEFA, and then made the regulations even tougher a few years later, we could not have imagined that so shortly thereafter we would again be having to think of how to combat this obnoxious disease that seems to be getting even worse in some parts of the world."

Infantino added: "I call on all football governing bodies to join us and think together of new, stronger and more effective ways to eradicate racism in football. 

"As a starting point, I suggest that all competition organisers enact regulations which envisage life bans from stadiums for those who are found guilty of racist behaviour at a football match. FIFA can then enforce such bans at a worldwide level."

UEFA's three-step procedure to deal with racist incidents was partially enacted during Monday's match, with the initial stoppage coming after England players reported chants to the referee and an announcement calling for the abuse to cease was made over the stadium's public address system.

After a further complaint, match official Ivan Bebek asked England manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane whether he wished for them to take the teams from the field – in line with step two.

The close proximity to half-time was a factor in England being minded to play on and Southgate credited Bebek's conduct throughout as being "outstanding".

England debutant Tyrone Mings confirmed the players unanimously agreed to continue playing at half-time. The third step in the UEFA plan after taking the players from the field is an abandonment if abuse persists.

Infantino's UEFA successor Aleksander Ceferin made a strong defence of his organisation's record when it comes to dealing with racism.

"As a governing body, I know we are not going to win any popularity contests. But some of the views expressed about UEFA’s approach to fighting racism have been a long way off the mark," he said.

"UEFA, in close cooperation with the FARE network (Football Against Racism Europe), instituted the three-stage protocol for identifying and tackling racist behaviour during games.

"UEFA's sanctions are among the toughest in sport for clubs and associations whose supporters are racist at our matches."

Thousands of women watched Iran thrash Cambodia 14-0 in a men's 2022 World Cup qualifier on Thursday in a historic move welcomed by FIFA.

Authorities in Iran have enforced a long-standing ban on women entering football grounds, though it was temporarily lifted for the second leg of the AFC Champions League final between Persepolis and Japanese side Kashima Antlers in November 2018.

Iranian woman Sahar Khodayari died last month after setting herself on fire while awaiting a court case following her March arrest for attempting to sneak into Azadi Stadium in Tehran wearing a disguise.

Amnesty International official Philip Luther described the ban as showing "appalling contempt for women's rights" and told FIFA to take action, and female fans were permitted to watch the defeat of Cambodia.

"For the first time in nearly 40 years, several thousand women have been allowed into a stadium in Iran to watch a football match played by men," FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a statement.

"This is a very positive step forward, and one which FIFA, and especially Iranian girls and women, have been eagerly waiting for.

"The passion, joy and enthusiasm they showed today was remarkable to see and encourages us even more to continue the path we have started. History teaches us that progress comes in stages and this is just the beginning of a journey.

"Consequently, FIFA now looks more than ever towards a future when ALL girls and women wishing to attend football matches in Iran will be free to do so, and in a safe environment.

"There can be no stopping or turning back now.

"I would like to thank both the Iran FA, the AFC and the authorities involved for their efforts and cooperation. FIFA will continue to work closely with them, to help ensure that the right thing is done, which is to allow all fans, irrespective of gender, to have the chance to go to the stadiums and enjoy a game of football. Since I arrived at FIFA, we fight to see this objective fulfilled.

"But, above all, today I want to say a very big thank you and record our utmost respect to all of the Iranian girls and women who courageously stood and are standing up for their rights.

"FIFA fully supports them and will stand by them."

Karim Ansarifard scored four and Serdar Azmoun also hit a hat-trick in a one-sided victory for Marc Wilmots' side, who are top of Group C with six points from two games.

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