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As furore with VAR grows, Marco van Basten calls for offside rule to be scrapped

The game has seen a number of contentious offside calls since the introduction of the VAR, with growing concern about the time to take decisions and the precision with which offsides are judged.

By: Reuters |
March 25, 2021 8:00:21 pm
Marco van Basten was FIFA's technical director from 2016 to 2018. (File)

Former Netherlands forward Marco van Basten has called on football’s lawmakers to consider scrapping the offside rule, saying the sport would be better off without it.

The game has seen a number of contentious offside calls since the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), with growing concern about the time to take decisions and the precision with which offsides are judged.

Football’s rulemaker IFAB this month said it was continuing to review the offside law, looking at suggestions, such as one from FIFA head of football development Arsene Wenger, for a switch that would give more benefit to the attacking player than the current law.

“I am still very curious about the offside rule because I am convinced that it is not a good rule,” Van Basten, who was FIFA’s technical director from 2016-2018, told Sky Sports.

“I would like to trial it to show that football is 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.”

Van Basten said controversial offside decisions had taken some of the attention away from the action on the pitch.

“The problem now is that we do have offside and how often are we talking about the decisions? A lot,” he added.

“If you do not have offside you have a lot less problems and the teams will find other solutions to have a good game that will be just as spectacular as it is now but without this bad rule.”

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