Football: Marco van Basten claims offside rule should be SCRAPPED


Marco van Basten claims offside rule should be SCRAPPED as Dutch legend insists that teams would adapt without the current rule and football would be ‘more spectacular’ as a result

  • Marco van Basten insists that football should scrap the current offside rule 
  • The Dutch legend first mooted the idea in 2017 when FIFA’s technical director 
  • But Van Basten, 56, has now doubled down on his stance in a recent interview
  • He says that football would be ‘more spectacular’ without the offside rule 

Marco van Basten has claimed the offside law should be scrapped entirely as the Dutch legend insists that football would be ‘more spectacular’ without the current rule.

Former AC Milan star Van Basten made headlines in 2017 when, during his reign as FIFA’s technical director, he first laid out plans to rid football of the offside rule in a bid to preserve the sport as the world’s most popular game.

The 56-year-old reasoned that scrapping the rule would allow for more scoring opportunities, making the game a more enjoyable spectacle.

Marco van Basten has insisted football would be 'more spectacular' without the offside rule

Marco van Basten has insisted football would be ‘more spectacular’ without the offside rule

And in an interview with Sky Sports, the former striker has doubled down on his stance, reiterating his belief that the offside rule is ‘not a good rule’.

‘I am still very curious about the offside rule because I am convinced that it is not a good rule,’ Van Basten said. 

‘At least I would like to trial it to show that football is also possible without the offside rule. I am convinced that football would be better without it.

‘Football is a fantastic game but I still think that we have to do much more to make it better, more spectacular, more interesting, more exciting. We have to work on that.’ 

The Dutch legend says that ridding football of offside would allow for a more exciting game

The Dutch legend says that ridding football of offside would allow for a more exciting game

Van Basten said attackers would be given the freedom to occupy spaces in behind defenders

Van Basten said attackers would be given the freedom to occupy spaces in behind defenders

Ridding football of offside would radically change the way the game is played, with attackers allowed to occupy spaces in behind defences. Van Basten is certain that teams would adapt to the change of rule.

‘Teams would find a way of playing without it,’ he insisted.

‘If you do away with the offside line then the defence will drop deeper. They will say that you cannot get behind us because they will be afraid of the opponents getting in behind. 

‘But if you go too far back then the 18-yard box is going to become a melee and the goalkeeper will not be able to see anything, so teams will know it is not the solution. 

A defending team would be able to put two attackers in the other half to swiftly counter attack

A defending team would be able to put two attackers in the other half to swiftly counter attack

Van Basten would like to see the idea tested and says teams will find other solutions

Van Basten would like to see the idea tested and says teams will find other solutions

‘On the other hand, when you are defending, if there is no offside, you can always have one or two players far away so that when you get the ball you can put it to your forwards in the other half. 

‘The problem now is that we do have offside and how often are we talking about the offside decisions? A lot.

‘If you do not have offside you have a lot less problems and the teams will still find other solutions to have a good game that will be just as spectacular as it is now but without this bad rule. I am still very interested in it. It would just be nice to test it.

‘I am sure football would find a way to become even more interesting.’   

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