“Offside goals are finished in football, at least with VAR. You will never see an offside goal scored because with VAR you either are, or you are not, offside. How many times have you [the press] been writing about this – is he offside or not? Now you will have other arguments because offside is finished.”
Infantino’s boast about this tournament producing “zero red cards for violent play” will intrigue England, who remember Jordan Henderson being double-butted in the Colombia game. Sepp Blatter’s successor is adamant though that surveillance is working: “Everyone knows that if they do this [miming an elbow in the face], one of the 36 or so cameras will spot it and you will be sent off.
“Today it’s difficult to think about the World Cup without VAR. It has been, certainly, a more just competition thanks to VAR. This is what we wanted to achieve and what we have achieved so far. We’ll see what we can improve and will improve it. Football poses more challenges but let’s look at the progress and what we achieved.”
In a mostly celebratory address, Infantino was challenged on Fifa’s refusal to pay the tens of thousands of World Cup volunteers – and on his earlier claim that the world has “fallen in love with Russia.” One reporter raised the litany of political charges against Russia, from annexations to repression to alleged interference in elections and state doping.
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