Van Basten: Modern football like handball

Dutch legend Marco van Basten believes football needs to adapt and change a number of rules in order to remain attractive

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Former Netherlands striker Marco van Basten believes the rules of the game need to be changed in order to keep football attractive, stressing the modern game has become like handball due to some teams' defensive approach.

Van Basten has called for the abandonment of the offside rule, while also arguing in favour of the introduction of video referees and stronger action against timewasting to try to keep football interesting.

"There is so much timewasting in football. We need new rules to do something against it. Give players a red card if they are wasting time following a substitution. The pace of the game should remain high," Van Basten told Algemeen Dagblad.

"Football should be tense, fair and attractive. I think it's a major challenge to bear that in mind when it comes to deciding what rules we need.

"Just look at how football has developed. Modern football is like handball. You see 11 players defending on the edge of their own area.

"We might as well get rid of the offside rule. The rule is quite complicated and always leads to a lot of discussion. The players will get used to it quite quickly.

"Football has changed just like life in general has changed. Football was just a bit of fun 50 years ago, but it is big business now. A lot of money is involved.

"I also hope the video referee will be introduced before the 2018 World Cup. The video ref should focus on the key things, situations ahead of goals, penalties and red cards. There will always be small mistakes, but there is a lot of room for improvement."

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