Infantino: Video replay to be tested ‘sooner rather than later’

Newly elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino has revealed that moves to introduce video replay technology into football will begin “sooner rather than later.”

Trialling the technology is expected to be approved at the International FA Board meet in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday, and the Swiss-Italian stressed that the flow of the game will be paramount should the changes occur.

“Football is a special game,” Infantino said. “It’s the most beautiful and the most important sport in the world. We don’t have to kill football. One of the peculiarities of football is the flow of the game. It doesn’t stop like many other sports when you have to time to stop and look at a video.

“In football you have a flow, you have a referee who takes important decisions. So we need to see what type of impact any technological help will have on the flow. We need to start with serious tests sooner rather than later.”

One of the tournaments cited to be a guinea pig for video technology is the FA Cup, but there is no word on how it would be installed at the stadiums of the lower-league sides competing, or in which round it would be brought in.

An important task for Infantino is to try and rebuild trust from supporters around the world following years of corruption and kickbacks at FIFA. He will look to remedy that by having the governing body’s leaders behave “more like fans, less like politicians.”

“I am a football fan as well. I am like them. I am a supporter,” Infantino said. “I know what it means to travel miles and miles by plane or train to follow your team.

“We have to involve the fans, listen to them and what they say. Football without fans is nothing. We need the players, we need the fans. These two elements have been neglected for too long.”

Despite expressing these sentiments, Infantino continues to back his controversial plans to swell the current 32-team World Cup into one featuring 40 teams. He also talked of his want to get on with the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup – for which the United States is the favourite to host – with it likely to be launched “in the next couple of months.”

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