FIFA President Gianni Infantino defends VAR – but offers potential escape route for Premier League

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino jumped to VAR’s defense as technology damaged the game.

Players, coaches and pundits have criticized VAR, feeling very much that it has gone beyond its stated initial goal of correcting the “clear and obvious” mistakes.

Match of the Day presenter and former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted in October that it was “a terrible experience for life” while waiting for VAR to “cancel our fun” when he rules out goals for outsiders. most marginal game and questionable handballs.

Infantino has often said that the problem is how the technology is implemented, rather than the technology itself.

“I think VAR helps football, it is certainly not harmful to football,” he said.

“We have to remember that VAR was first introduced two years ago, not 20 years ago.

Referee David Coote watches a replay as he rules out a penalty that was awarded (then ruled out by VAR)
(Image: POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

“We shouldn’t confuse VAR and maybe sometimes bad decisions that are made because of the wrong way VAR is used maybe in some places due to the inexperience of those who use VAR.

“Let’s not forget that this is really a big change for a referee who didn’t grow up with VAR.”

He also said there was “no obligation” for competitions to use the technology if they didn’t want to – giving the Premier League a potential escape route away from the use of the technology.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino
(Image: ANP / AFP via Getty Images)

Infantino said he was ‘sad’ on a personal level that Greg Clarke stepped down as FIFA vice president, but said the former Football Association president did the right thing by stepping down. after making a series of offensive remarks in an appearance before MPs last month.

Infantino said FIFA has a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination in all its forms.

The Swiss were speaking after the last FIFA Council meeting in 2020, where it was agreed that the 2021 Club World Cup will be a seven-team tournament to be played in Japan.

FIFA had hoped to host the first of its expanded 24-team Club World Cup competitions in China next summer, but agreed to postpone the event indefinitely in order to postpone Euro 2020 and Copa America 2020. .

Instead, the tournament will continue in its current format and be played at the end of 2021.

The 2020 Club World Cup tournament in Qatar has been postponed until February next year so that the continental club competitions are over.

Infantino said no new date had yet been set for the first Club World Cup in the new format, but boasted that it would be “the best club competition in the world”.

He said discussions on the business aspects of the competition had been suspended due to the pandemic, but would resume once a new date was set.

The FIFA Council ratified the international triple-headed breaks in Europe in March and September next year, when the World Cup qualifiers are due to be contested.

It also adopted an amendment to its regulations allowing the movement of minors – aged 16 to 18 between member associations on the territory of a country.

This was taken to recognize Britain’s exit from the European Union at the end of the year.

FIFA also announced that its next Congress will be held as a virtual event on May 21, 2021.

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