Dutch football director wants to trial new rules from kick-ins to sin-bins

A Dutch football director wants to trial some radical changes to the beautiful game as soon as the 2023/24 season – but he's been met with a fierce response.

Jan Dirk van der Zee, KNVB's director of amateur football, want to use the league to experiment with five 'adjustments' to the game. He stated the changes will make the game "faster, sportier, fairer and more attractive."

Van der Zee added: "The aim is to realise a pilot for the Keuken Kampioen Divisie in the 2023-2024 season. In this, the adjustments will be tested in consultation with the clubs and the International Football Association Board (IFAB)."

The five rule changes proposed will completely change the way football is played.

Van der Zee has proposed that teams should be able to play kick-ins instead of throw-ins and players should be allowed to dribble from free kicks. The Dutchman has also proposed a 'sin-bin' such as seen in rugby for yellow cards and unlimited substitutions for both sides.

However, the biggest change proposed would see games reduced to 60 minutes – with two 30 minute halves – where the clock would stop as play stops.

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Van der Zee added: "If you come into football with ideas like this and want to innovate, you'll have to deal with two kinds of fans.

"The football romantic, who prefer to leave everything as it is and is guided by nostalgia and sentiment, and the football enthusiast, that is open to changes to make the game more attractive and fair.

"The football romantic, in particular, is recognisable in UEFA and FIFA, who are known to have a tendency to bury their heels in the sand when changes are made. That is why there is still a lot of lobbying to be done."

However, Van der Zee has faced push-back closer to home than he anticipated with Marianne van Leeuwen, KNVB's director of professional football, stating the idea is 'totally out of the question'.

Van Leeuwen said: "Now the image arises that the KNVB just decides something. I immediately informed the clubs in an email that this is not the case at all. I'm really upset about this. Fortunately, they respond understandingly."

The Dutchman also revealed that Van der Zee has since apologised to the clubs – but she added: "Of course, we think about how we can keep football attractive in the longer term and what innovations are appropriate."

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