The use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAT) is not changing football, but making it more honest and more transparent, International Football Federation, FIFA, President Gianni Infanto said on Friday, making a very positive assessment of the VAR system, used for the first time at the World Cup in Russia. “If you look at the meaning of the word progress, it means making things better, improving them, so the VAR is progress,” the FIFA boss said at a press conference in Moscow.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s France-Croatia final, he said there had been “more than 440 checks and 19 formal reviews” by VAR. There were 16 decisions changed, Infanto noted. “VAR is not changing football; it’s making football clearer, more transparent,” he added.
“It worked well; we launched a pilot phase two years ago and, to be honest, I was skeptical but we thought that if we didn’t put it to the test we couldn’t see whether it works or not,” he recalled, disclosing that there had been a 99.3% rate of good decisions thanks to the new system, as against 95% without it.