x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Russia 2018: Fifa president Gianni Infantino prepared for VAR controversy at football World Cup

But Infantino sayd implementation necessary measure as governing body looks to give match officials every assistance in making correct decisions

Gianni Infantino says he prefer to keep moving football into the future. Lionel Cironneau / AP Photo
Gianni Infantino says he prefer to keep moving football into the future. Lionel Cironneau / AP Photo

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said he was braced for controversy at the World Cup after the use of video assistant referees was approved last month.

However, Infantino said the implementation of VAR, rubber-stamped by the Fifa council last month, was a necessary measure as the governing body looked to give its match officials every assistance in making correct decisions.

The VAR system has been trialled worldwide but its use in England has led to mixed reactions from players, managers and supporters, with those inside stadiums complaining of being in the dark while decisions were made.

Infantino conceded the system was not foolproof but, in a piece in April's edition of the Fifa magazine, he said: "I am sure that soon we will reach a stage in which VARs are part and parcel of the game and its flow.

"Right now, while technology is still a novelty in football, every single incident draws attention and is dissected like an anomaly - unlike the many seconds that we have grown used to wasting, say, in between free-kicks or throw-ins.

"Will there still be mistakes? Absolutely. Unavoidable ones. An important component of football refereeing is subjective, and for that we will always have to count on human judgement, which is fallible by nature - even more so when under enormous pressure.

"However, we have an obligation to provide match officials with all of the tools they need to help them take decisions as accurately as possible.

"And, yes, we will be ready for controversy. Whenever people care about something as much as they do about football, there will always be discussion.

"Football could either expose itself to a brand new controversy - arising from a willingness to improve the game - or settle for an existing, inert one. I am happy we chose the former."

Premier League clubs will vote on Friday on whether to introduce the system for the 2018/19 campaign.

At least 14 clubs need to accept the proposal but media reports suggest many are reluctant to ratify its use in the top-flight next term and are prepared to wait another season.

______________

Read more

Graham Caygill: Fifa should make video replays more simple

Video ref helps Italy halt England’s World Cup momentum

Fifa's Infantino confident VAR can have 'positive impact'

Pochettino is concerned after VAR mars FA Cup win

______________