Germany coach Joachim Low has disagreed with Oliver Bierhoff over the national team manager’s support for abolishing the offside rule, saying “football without offside does not make sense”.
Bierhoff backed a suggestion by FIFA technical director Marco van Basten that abolishing the offside rule could make the game more exciting, and the former Germany and AC Milan striker proposed a trial period to test the effects of a rule change.
Low, who works alongside Bierhoff for the German national team, dismissed the idea and said that scrapping the offside rule could rob the game of its fundamental tactical elements.
When asked how he would approach the game without the offside rule, Low told SportBild: “I would leave as a coach two players in the opponent’s penalty area. And the opponent would probably do the same.
“The result: the space in midfield becomes huge, football becomes a kind of field handball, and teams would start attacks almost exclusively with long balls from their own half into the other.
“The abolition of the offside rule would completely change the football. It would no longer be what it is at the moment: a very interesting, highly tactical game.”
Low backed the trial of a fourth substitution in this season’s FA Cup, and he also suggested that sin bins could bring a beneficial dynamic to the game.
He said: “If someone commits a tactical foul, then he could be sanctioned with a 10-minute penalty instead of a yellow card, so that the team damaged by the foul can still have an advantage in this game.”