Stade Reims coach says Marco Van Basten's FIFA proposal 'is a huge piece of ...'

BY Aaron West • January 19, 2017

Dutch legend and current FIFA technical director Marco Van Basten has made waves this week with his radical ideas to improve the game. He's proposed to get rid of offside, restrict players to 60 matches a year, introduce a 10-minute 'sin bin' similar to hockey, and change penalties to the old-school MLS run-up.

Not everyone's onboard with Van Basten's proposal though, and Stade Reims manager Christian Gourcuff is particularly against the changes, making his feelings known in no uncertain terms.

"Van Basten's proposal is a huge piece of s***," said the Frenchman. "It is the biggest piece of garbage I've read in a long time.

"The offside rule is a manifestation of intelligence and if we got rid of it, the team spirit would die, which is crucial.

"If you don't understand this, you don't understand football."

It may be a stretch to say Van Basten, widely considered one of the sport's greatest ever doesn't understand football, but some of his suggestions do seem a little ... out there, especially with regards to offside.

The offside rule was originally conceived to keep the game from becoming static, preventing teams from camping players in the box and resorting to simply launching long balls into the area. While the rule's application is regularly a source of contention in today's game, it's still an integral part of the sport.

Some of Van Basten's ideas do have merit. An 10-minute 'orange card' in-game suspension might improve the game, while preventing players from running themselves into the ground with a limit on matches played each year could protect them. Even bringing the run-up shootout back might bring some more excitement into things.

But scrapping offside? Probably not the move.


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