Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, addressed the criticism that has been produced against the VAR and assured that “it is helping football, it is not harming or harming it.”
In a press conference after the FIFA Council meeting held this Friday, Infantino indicated that “It must be taken into account that the VAR was only introduced two years ago, not twenty years ago”, and that it cannot be “confused” with some incorrect decisions that can be taken at a certain moment.
He alluded to the possibility of “lack of experience” since “it is a change of great importance for all”, as well as that “the referees did not grow with the VAR”.
Infantino pointed out that although he believes that the video arbitration system is in good hands, they have to gather information from all parties involved and discuss what can be improved, if necessary, in the future and warned that no one is forced to employ this technology.
The FIFA president had a special memory for Diego Maradona, whom he described as a “legend” and a “giant” who “without a doubt marked the history of football” and therefore “is definitely eternal”.
He also assured that he is “sad” by the resignation as FIFA vice president of English Greg Clarke, who made a racist comment, but assured that he “acted correctly” when making the decision to leave this position, as well as the English Federation.
“We have to fight against any form of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, machismo … inside and outside of football,” said Infantino, who highlighted the importance of football as a “tool” and the zero tolerance policy to fight against these scourges and He also appreciated the increase in women in positions of responsibility in the organization.
He explained that the Council had decided to postpone the new Club World Cup, scheduled for 2021 in China, and maintain for December, with the headquarters of Japan, with the traditional version, thus giving space to the Eurocup and the America’s Cup.
“The tournament (the new version) is still on the calendar, but it is not yet decided when it will take place. I don’t know what it will be called, but it is something that all clubs and people want,” said the FIFA president, who he predicted his sporting and commercial success and whose profits will be reimbursed one hundred percent throughout the world of football.
“I am sure that the Club World Cup will be the best in the world. I am not objective, obviously, but it will be something great that will greatly develop club football and everything that is generated will be distributed throughout the world” , said Infantino, who, questioned about the possibility of creating a European Super League, pointed out that he focuses on this tournament worldwide.
He recognized the need in the near future for all the parties involved in the world of football to sit down to address a harmonious calendar that also takes into account the health of the players in the face of the increase in the number of games due to covid-19, as well as protecting national teams and clubs, in short “protect football worldwide.”
He considered “finding the balance” decisive, a task that in his opinion “is not easy”, so he ordered “to develop a series of rules with a detailed protocol, which tries to protect the health of the players, the most important thing.” Infantino recalled that FIFA is dealing with this issue and put for example the decision of the International Board (IFAB) to allow five changes instead of three. He even recalled that when he was at UEFA, the European body reduced the number of matches in the Champions League from 17 to 13.
He praised the agreements adopted by the Council on female players in the aspect that “it is necessary to provide more stability to their professional careers” and “for example, if they have to be on maternity leave they do not have to worry about their career, or how they can play again “, for which” minimum international standards have been established to guarantee their safety and this will promote and improve women’s football “, as is the case with coaches.