FIFA president on VAR's use at World Cup: 'We will be ready for controversy'

FIFA president on VAR's use at World Cup: 'We will be ready for controversy'

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

However, Infantino believes the implementation of VAR, rubber-stamped by the FIFA council last month, was a necessary measure as the governing body looks 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 are made.

Infantino admits the system is 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 Press Association Sport understands many are reluctant to ratify its use in the top-flight next term and are prepared to wait another season.

- PA

More in this Section

Limerick's Paul Browne retires from inter-county hurling Limerick's Paul Browne retires from inter-county hurling

From the special one to the smiling one – a look at Jose Mourinho’s unveilingsFrom the special one to the smiling one – a look at Jose Mourinho’s unveilings

Disparities in sports grants allocated to clubs in middle-class and working-class areas Disparities in sports grants allocated to clubs in middle-class and working-class areas

Spurs can win Premier League title next season, says MourinhoSpurs can win Premier League title next season, says Mourinho


Lifestyle

Get ready for Stir-Up Sunday with this classic recipe.How to make Bake Off finalist Steph’s Great Grandma’s Christmas fruitcake

A dark episode from Ireland's emigrant history makes for fine drama in the hands of Rory Gleeson, writes Alan O'Riordan.Review: Blood in the Dirt, New Theatre, Dublin

REVIEW: This superb adaptation of A Christmas Carol puts a contemporary twist on Dickens' classic tale, writes Alan O'RiordanReview: A Christmas Carol, Gate Theatre, Dublin

Move over quinoa.Everything you need to know about fonio, the ancient grain we’ll all be eating in 2020

More From The Irish Examiner