Infantino says English needs to get to grips with VAR

February 10 – The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system is not being used properly in some countries according to FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

“It’s important that VAR is there to support the referee,” said Infantino. “It shouldn’t be somebody else taking the decision on behalf of the referee, and this is how VAR is implemented in almost every part of the world, but not everywhere.”

Infantino was clearly referring to the English Premier League where pitch-side monitors have largely been ignored by referees who are invariably leaving tight calls to the video assistant referee panel, much to the frustration of fans, players and managers.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho told reporters on Tuesday that the system should be renamed VR – Video Referee – because the pitch referee is no longer making the decisions.

“At the beginning, (Italy) went through some turbulent times with some critics. So I wouldn’t take the current critics or criticism, from England in particular and the Premier League, in too much of a dramatic way,”  Infantino told the Olympic Channel, the International Olympic Committee’s web-based TV station.

“There is no reason why in England it cannot be successful if it has been successful everywhere else.

“I think it’s pretty normal for something that football has been waiting for 150 years,” he added. “We can’t all pretend it’s perfect. But… it is certainly progress. It is certainly a step in the right direction and help for the referees, (but) it has to be used in the appropriate way.”

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