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.

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.

One Comment on “Van Basten: ‘Scrap the offside rule’”

  1. Let’s cancel offside law
    It has been a long time for the Existence of offside Law in the Football (Soccer) Matches, perhaps since the starting of the appearance of the football in the world ( Review the history of offside law on the internet ) , and since that time offside Law has been forgotten, and Nobody has paid attention to cancel it.
    * Offside Law has the following disadvantages :-
    1- Offside Law leads to No goals or less goals in many of the Football Matches.
    2- Offside Law leads to failure of a lot of the Attacks due to restriction of the Movement of the strikers in the field of the opponent team due to the fear of offside trap by the defenders of the opponent team.
    3- Offside Law makes the Football Matches boring and frustrating to the watchers and also to the players with loss of excitement as many attacks are not completed due to offside Law.
    * Cancellation of offside Law has the following advantages :-
    1- Cancellation of offside Law could lead to watching of some goals in the negative draw Matches or more goals in some of the other matches and at the same time the football will not turn to a Basketball game with many goals.
    2- Cancellation of offside Law will make the play with more speed and more freedom as the strikers will not wait in each attack to locate or modify their position in relation to the position of the defenders of the opponent team, So the Mode of the play will be changed to become Faster and better.
    3- Cancellation of offside Law will make the football game more exciting and more enjoyable to the watchers and to the players at the same time.
    4- Cancellation of offside law will end the dispute over the misdecisions of some of the linesmen about the validity of the occurrence of offside in the matches .

    Although the cancellation of offside law will partially limit the role of the 2 linesmen and there might be a slight increase in the number of goals in some matches , but these are not convincing reasons to stop its cancellation .
    So I urge the FIFA to cancel offside Law by following the next steps :
    1- to cancel offside law in the beginning in some of the friendly Matches for sometime to see the situation and to make a primary assessment .
    2- Once the primary assessment gives an indication for the advantage of offside law cancellation , then they can proceed to the next step ; to cancel offside law in the 2ed half of 25% of the league matches to make a full assessment .
    3- Once the full assessment proves the advantage of offside law cancellation , then they can proceed to the last step ; to cancel offside law ultimately and permanently in all the next league matches .

    Finally I believe that any argument over the Advantages or disadvantages of cancellation of offside law will be unrealistic until a method of assessment ( like my previously mentioned method ) for that is done and the situation will be fully clear .

    Adel Ismail Mekki
    Cairo , Egypt

Leave a Reply