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Van Basten reveals radical plan to save football, includes monkeys

Marco van Basten

Abolishing extra-time

Drawn games should move straight to penalties, because everybody enjoys the drama of a shoot-out and 30 more minutes of people kicking a ball about just prolongs the tedium.  

Abolishing normal time

All games should be settled by penalties, because shoot-outs are the only reason anyone watches football, and 11-vs-11 matches have had their day and should probably be abolished.

Abolishing penalty shoot-outs

Shoot-outs are against the spirit of football, so all games should be replaced by something the whole family can enjoy, like as fierljeppen, klootschieten or korfball.


An orange card will be shown to any players the referee deems to be committing a sin in the eyes of god. They will be forced to sit out 10 minutes for a venial sin, but a mortal sin will result in a 20-minute penalty and an eternity in hell.

Only the captain may speak

A designated captain will be the only person on each team allowed to communicate with words. All his instructions should be preceded by the words ‘Captain says’. Any player who fulfils an instruction that is not preceded by the words ‘captain says’ must sit in the sin-bin for 10 minutes.


Every team will have to field one monkey, either a vervet or a barbary macaque. The monkey may play in any position, but normal rules about offside, handball, faeces-flinging and face-biting do not apply. Monkeys may not be made captains unless they have been trained to use sign language.

Human sacrifice

Half-time entertainment should always include a burnt human offering to placate the immortal half-demon Kharrizoth the Unholy, who threatens to feast on the souls of the living unless his evil thirst is slaked by the blood of innocent men. There should also be a raffle.

No video replays

Because crowds succumbing to hysterics of rage when referees give a decision against their team is what makes football the beautiful game.

Please note: This fictional story is not real. Like, obviously.

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