FIFA is considering measures to reduce bad behaviour from players during matches, according to Netherlands great Marco van Basten.
The 52-year-old, chief officer for technical development at world football’s governing body, says he is determined to stamp out the number of incidents in which players confront officials.
Van Basten has proposed a rugby-style rule that would allow only team captains to speak to the referee, in order to reduce the amount of time wasted during arguments.
“I’m sure the behaviour of the players can be better. We are thinking about it to put it in the right direction,” he told the BBC.
“We have to be careful with time-wasting, the behaviour of the players. There are a lot now who are complaining during the game. We have to think about only the captain able to talk to the referee, not everybody, because we’re losing a lot of time.
“We want good football, dynamic, exciting, but also honest. There’s a lot of emotion in the game but we have to control it. The people want to see action.”
FIFA’s video assistant referee technology was trialled at the Club World Cup to mixed reviews, with Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric stating that he does not want to see the system stay in use.
Van Basten accepts so-called VAR is “not perfect” but believes it could be important in clearing up controversial incidents in major matches, such as Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘hand of God’ goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.
“I’d like to help the professional game to get it more exciting, more spectacular, more honest also,” he said.
“We have a new project with the video assistant referee and that’s an issue that a lot of people are talking about at the moment.
“It’s good, it’s helping the honesty of the game. It’s not perfect, we realise that, but it’s good for football and I think everybody will be happy with it.
“It’s only important that we get the big decisions out of it. We’ve all seen the goal from Diego Maradona, the decisions of clear, big mistakes in international games – everyone was complaining. This is our main goal.”
Van Basten went on to admit that he understands reservations from fans over the prospect of expanding the World Cup to 48 teams, though he believes it could be beneficial.
“I can understand that people don’t like to go for more countries because it’s already a lot but I can also understand [FIFA president] Gianni Infantino,” he added.
“If you have 48 countries in a World Cup, we have more countries who have the joy of participating.”
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