Until now, new FIFA technical director Marco van Basten
has kept a rather low profile, but he has come out in favor of experimentation that could revolutionize soccer. An American-style
shootout, used by the old NASL and MLS, in its early years, to break ties is one of the tamer measures.
The German tabloid Bild outlined
the rule changes van Basten proposes for his "Fussball-Revolution and to put before the
International Football Association Board to approve for experimentation:
-- No offside rule;
-- Penalty box for carded players;
-- Increased number of substitutions;
Substitutions on the fly;
-- Maximum number of fouls allowed per player; and
-- No stoppages for more than 10 seconds during the last 10 minutes of a game.
"I'm curious to see
how soccer would work without offside," van Basten said. "It is becoming more and more like handball -- nine players plus the goalkeeper make the penalty area dense. It is like a wall. It is very
difficult to get through. All teams rely on the same effective tactics: countering from a stable defense."
Besides the shootout, the NASL used a 35-year offside line until it was banned
by FIFA in 1982.
"[Without the offside rule], the forwards could stand behind the defenders, which would make things much more difficult for them," added van Basten. "If the defense
moved back, there would be more opportunities for distance shots." That would make the game more attractive, the attackers would have more chances and more goals would be scored. In field hockey, the
offside has been abolished, and there are no problems."
What do you think of these proposed rule changes?