PRESIDENT of FIFA Gianni Infantino, is optimistic that referees will benefit from replays for crucial decisions during matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Infantino revealed this ambition during his visit to the Office of the President on Tuesday, where he met with President of Trinidad and Tobago Anthony Carmona.
Infantino, who has been FIFA president for more than a year said, “One week after my election, we had the first meeting and we decided to test video system refereeing. Basically there is a referee which is sitting in front of a screen with different camera positons, and in real time can advise the referee if he has committed a big mistake. I am confident for the first time in the World Cup next year we will use videos to help the referee.”
Infantino said that the replay system will only be used for major decisions during a match, which can affect the outcome. “The way we are approaching it is really to focus only on game changing situations, game changing mistakes - goals, offsides, penalties only.” Infantino said the goal is not to spoil the flow of the game with too many stoppages.
The replay system would have helped T&T in their World Cup qualifier against Mexico last month. A goal scored by T&T midfielder Joevin Jones was disallowed for offside. However, the replay proved that Jones was in an onside position.
Infantino also spoke about his aim to have 48 countries participate at the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will benefit the CONCACAF region.
“This means for the CONCACAF region instead of three and a half teams, with three qualifying and one playing a playoff match we will now have six and a half teams in CONCACAF.
“I believe in the power of football, and there is nothing more powerful in developing football than to participate in a big competition, and the World Cup is the biggest competition. The World Cup is much more than a football competition, it is a social event and the world stands still during the World Cup.”
Students from Fatima College, Presentation College San Fernando and St Anthony’s College were invited to meet Carmona and Infantino. In a message to the youngsters, Infantino said, “Believe in yourself is what I could say to all the kids, work, work, work even if you fail, continue to work because one day you will reach.” Infantino advised the aspiring footballers to reach half an hour before everyone, and leave half an hour after everyone.