Wednesday January 2 2019
Infantino: No going back from VAR

FIFA chief Gianni Infantino says there is no going back from VAR. “I wouldn’t abandon it for anything in the world.”

VAR is considered the next great innovation in world football after it was successfully rolled out in Serie A and at the 2018 World Cup, among other Leagues and competitions.

“The VAR was a winning experience, something that I wouldn’t abandon for anything in the world,” said Infantino at the Dubai International Sports Conference.

“At the beginning, I have to be honest and say I was a little sceptical. There were tests and at the end of them everyone was talking about it and now everyone wants it.

“There have been so many discussions with Collina because it could’ve broken up the game, but ultimately it’s made the game fairer.

“If it can help the referees then why can’t it? Now with all this technology, people knew if a decision was right, except the referees.

“Therefore, despite some criticism, we understood that VAR was an integral part of the success of the World Cup.

“There are no more obvious errors, like offside goals. There are still some things that need to be improved, but the huge errors are in the past.

“It’s not only my success but also and above all a success for Pierluigi Collina.”

The Swiss-Italian then reiterated plans for a 48-team World Cup as early as Qatar 2022.

“The discussion is not if but when we’ll have a 48-team World Cup,” he added.

“We’re analysing the possibility of doing so in Qatar. It won’t be easy, but if we could make the world happy then we should try.

“Maybe we could convince some countries who are geographically close to host some games.

“I know there are tensions in this region, so it’s the task of political leaders to manage them.

“The quality to enlarge the number of teams is there. Just think of how many important national teams weren’t in Russia, like Italy and Netherlands…

“We’re also thinking about Asia, which will have twice as many participants. That means many countries will invest in football to get to the World Cup, and that’s a good thing.”

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