Foot­ball great Van Basten leaves FIFA tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor role

Malta Independent - - Sport -

Soccer great Marco van Basten is leav­ing FIFA af­ter two years as tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor.

The former Nether­lands for­ward is leav­ing am­i­ca­bly to be closer to his fam­ily in Am­s­ter­dam, FIFA said Fri­day.

Van Basten helped over­see the in­tro­duc­tion of video re­view for ref­er­ees at the World Cup in Rus­sia, plus coach­ing pro­grams to help mem­ber fed­er­a­tions.

"Marco has played an im­por­tant role to re­con­nect the in­sti­tu­tion with its tech­ni­cal com­mu­nity," said FIFA deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral Zvon­imir Boban, a former team­mate at AC Mi­lan.

Van Basten was also closely linked to the "Play Fair" doc­u­ment pub­lished last year look­ing at rad­i­cal ways of chang­ing and im­prov­ing the game, but which had lit­tle im­pact.

Van Basten is a Dutch foot­ball man­ager and former pro­fes­sional foot­ball player, who played for Ajax and A.C. Mi­lan, as well as the Nether­lands na­tional team, as a for­ward.

He is re­garded as one of the great­est strik­ers in the his­tory of the sport.

He scored 300 goals in a high­pro­file ca­reer, but played his last match in 1993 at age 28 due to an in­jury which forced his re­tire­ment two years later.

He was later the head coach of Ajax and the Nether­lands na­tional team.

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