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New offside rule for 2015/16 explained after Christian Benteke's controversial goal for Liverpool

Former England and Manchester United defender Gary Neville is among those to have criticised the latest offside rule adaptation.

"They c**k about with the offside rule every year and they don't make it any better," Neville said on Sky Sports after Christian Benteke's controversial goal for Liverpool in Monday's 1-0 win over Bournemouth.

What is offside?

The official laws of the game, published by FIFA, state "a player is in an offside position if: he is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent".

How has offside rule evolved down the years?

The offside rule formed part of the original rules in 1863, FIFA says. Then any attacking player ahead of the ball was deemed to be offside. The law has been tinkered with since to its present form.

What's the latest problem?

Benteke's goal, during which Philippe Coutinho played for the ball and missed, despite being in an offside position, would have been permitted last season, but under this term's amended application of the laws it should have been ruled out.

What's changed?

Players have previously been allowed to be in offside positions if they were not an "active" part of play; to be offside a player had to touch the ball. Referees' chief Mike Riley says the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the sport's law making body, introduced a change meaning anybody in an offside position making a play for the ball, being close to the ball or having an impact on an opponent would be deemed offside - even if they did not make contact.

Will it be fairer?

In theory, yes. It should be clearer when a player is offside or not, even if they do not touch the ball.

How long will it take officials to grasp the amendment?

Well, two rounds of fixtures into the Premier League season and we have had our first major controversy over offside. It may take a little while longer.

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