Thursday March 25 2021
Van Basten: 'Scrap the offside rule'

Milan legend Marco van Basten insists ‘football would be better without’ any offside rule at all, which would also resolve the VAR controversy.

While there have been suggestions from Arsene Wenger to adjust the offside rule, or even create some sort of buffer to give VAR more leeway when disallowing goals for the tiniest of margins, Van Basten goes a more explosive route.

“I am still very curious about the offside rule because I am convinced that it is not a good rule,” the Dutch star told Sky Sports UK.

“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.”

It has been argued this would encourage the long ball game and leaving a man up near the opposition penalty area.

“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,” argues van Basten.

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.”

Van Basten had already suggested something similar when he worked at FIFA in 2017.