Van Basten appointed to FIFA role

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has welcomed the appointment of Marco van Basten to football's world governing body.

Netherlands great Marco van Basten has been appointed FIFA's Chief Officer for Technical Development.

Van Basten departed his role as Netherlands assistant to Danny Blind last month and confirmed he would be taking up a new position with football's world governing body.

The Ajax and AC Milan legend will be involved in the overseeing of all technical areas including football technology innovation and refereeing.

"It's a great honour for me to be appointed for this assignment," Van Basten, who also enjoyed coaching spells with Netherlands, Ajax and AZ, said via a FIFA statement.

"I'm very proud to have the opportunity to work in the home of FIFA, the home of world football. I hope to be able to give my contribution to ensure that football remains the number one sport in the world.

"Football is spectacular and it has to stay spectacular in every sense. We all love this sport.

"That's why I will work hard to develop football technically in the way that our sport will give to the fans and the players always emotions and joy."

FIFA's statement explained that Van Basten's appointment was part of president Gianni Infantino's "commitment to put football centre-stage at FIFA."

"Marco van Basten is football," Infantino said. "Discussing with him the last few months and hearing his visions for the game, knowing of course what he has done for the game, for me it was immediately clear that Marco van Basten is a fantastic asset for FIFA, for the whole technical area of FIFA.

"We have to cherish football, we have to protect football and develop football. Marco is a great expert, not only a legend.

"There is a lot he can do for football, for the game and around the pitch in the world. I’m extremely happy that he joined our team and I’m sure that he will do a great job."