FIFA chief says VAR use in World Cup is a success

World football governing body FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino has praised the use of the Video Assistant Technology (VAR) in the 2018 World Cup as a success.

“This is progress, this is better than the past,” Infantino told a news conference in Luzhniki. “VAR is not changing football, it is cleaning football.”

The football chief said the technology’s impact was so huge it would be hard to remember the tournament without it coming to mind.

“It is difficult to think of the World Cup without VAR, it has been certainly a more just competition…The goal scored from an offside position is finished in football, at least in football with VAR,” Infantino said.

The VAR has helped review 19 decisions in the 62 matches so far, and has changed 16 decisions which were initially taken by the referees.

Asked about the possibility of the 2022 World Cup being expanded to include 48 teams, Infantino said FIFA would first meet the Qatari authorities to hold that discussion.

“First we will discuss with the Qataris and then with the FIFA Council and stakeholders and decide calmly what the decision is,” he said. “For the moment, we have a World Cup with 32 teams.”

The football body earlier this year approved the expansion of the tournament, but which was to take effect in 2026. Talk has however been rife on the expansion taking effect in the next tournament.