Football

Wenger against scrapping offside rule

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has questioned some of Fifa's technical director Marco van Basten's proposed rule changes, which includes scrapping offside.

The former AC Milan and Holland striker has suggested eight changes to football he feels could revolutionise the game.

Van Basten's ideas include getting rid of the offside rule, replacing penalty shoot-outs with eight-second run-ups and introducing orange cards to send players to sin-bins for 10 minutes.

He has also proposed that players should be involved in fewer matches each season, that games should go straight to penalties without extra-time, children's games to be limited to eight-a-side, stopping the clock every time the ball goes out in the last 10 minutes and allowing only captains to speak to referees.

Wenger said: "Changing in itself is not a good quality, improving is the real target.

"Some of the proposals are worth discussing, some I don't see any big interest.

"The one I don't find interesting is to suppress offside.

"Offside is what makes the team good together. It is an intelligent rule as well, it is important to keep that in the game.

"Overall, football improves, people say it is too tight and compact, but football has always been like that - defence creates a problem for the attack and the attack finds a solution."

Wenger also warned of the "danger" of astronomical wages being offered by Chinese Super League clubs becoming the benchmark for the Premier League's top talent.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been linked with a move to the Far East with an offer of £600,000 (S$1.05 million) a week reportedly on the table for the Spain international.

Wenger fears the ever-increasing pay packet of a top-flight star could soon end up being compared to the money on offer in China.

"That's the danger, that the Chinese offers become the benchmark for Europe," he said.

"You cannot compete with that but, when you're a footballer, the first thing is that you want to play against the best players in the best teams.

"Of course it's a worry, but it happened in Europe before.

"It also happens when you're at a smaller club. Sometimes we had periods where we could not financially compete with the bigger clubs who took our players away from us. It can happen inside the country." - PA SPORT

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