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Thursday, 1 February, 2001, 19:41 GMT
Offside made simple?

A device designed to eliminate controversy over offside decisions is being demonstrated at the Football Expo event in Cannes.

The Soetens Offside System is the brainchild of Belgian father and son Michael and Anton Soetens.

They are hoping their invention will eventually be endorsed by football's governing bodies.

Michael Soetens told BBC Radio Five Live: "Of course, you can't eliminate all faults, but we believe we can reduce them from 40 percent to just three."


We are not changing the rule, but just giving more confidence to linesmen, more certainty in their decision making at crucial times
  Michael Soetens
The system relies on two extra officials helping to police offside decisions in either half of the pitch.

It enables the two key factors in any potential offside situation - the forward pass and the line beyond which a player is offside - to be viewed separately.

Michael Soetens said: "With our system, the linesman doesn't have to be look at the departure of the ball anymore. He just has to follow the last line of players."

Following the ball's progress as a potential offside arises is left to the extra official concerned.

As the forward pass is made, he uses his hand-held transmitter to send a signal to the linesman's receiver, which vibrates in his hand.

The linesman can then determine whether or not any player moved into an offside position prior to the pass forward.

Michael Soetens added: "We are not changing the rule, but just giving more confidence to linesmen, more certainty in their decision making at crucial times."

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01 Feb 01 |  Football
It's in the Cannes
29 Jan 01 |  Sports Talk
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