Pulse.com.gh logo
Go


Football FIFA president Infantino thanks Russia for 'best World Cup' ever

FIFA president Gianni Infantino thanked the Russian people and government on Friday for what he described as the "best World Cup" ever.

  • Published:
FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes Russia's World Cup has been the best ever play

FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes Russia's World Cup has been the best ever

(AFP)

FIFA president Gianni Infantino thanked the Russian people and government on Friday for what he described as the "best World Cup" ever.

Sporting a FIFA volunteers' jacket, Infantino told reporters in Moscow that Russia's infrastructure and welcome allied to the quality of football and success of VAR (the video assistant referee system) had contributed to the success of the tournament.

"Since a couple of years I was saying this would be the best World Cup ever. Today I can say it with more conviction because I lived it and you lived it. It is the best World Cup ever," said Infantino, two days ahead of the final between France and Croatia.

Infantino told Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the Kremlin last week that the world "all fell in love with Russia," over the past four weeks and repeated his praise for Putin's government and the organisation put in place for the tournament.

More than one million foreign fans have visited Russia during the World Cup, according to FIFA figures, and Infantino said preconceived notions of the country had been changed by their positive experiences.

"I think the World Cup has changed the perception of the world towards Russia," added Infantino.

"Everyone has discovered a beautiful country, a welcoming country, full of people keen to show to the world what maybe sometimes is said is not what happens here."

On the field, Infantino hailed the standard of football, citing just one 0-0 in 62 games so far as an example of the exciting spectacle.

Controversies over the use of VAR threatened to overshadow the football on the pitch early on but Infantino strongly defended introducing the technology for the first time at a World Cup.

"VAR is not changing football, VAR is cleaning football, making football more honest, more transparent," he said.

Just 16 decisions were overturned from 19 reviews by referees after receiving advice from other officials watching replays of incidents on television. The number of correct decisions rose using VAR from 95 percent to 99.32, according to Infantino.

"Now it is difficult to think about the World Cup without VAR," he added. "It has certainly been a more just competition thanks to VAR. This is what we wanted to achieve and what we have achieved so far."

Despite the dominance of European teams, with all four semi-finalists and six of the last eight coming from the UEFA confederation, Infantino claimed the presence of Croatia as the smallest nation since 1950 to reach the final should give hope to other countries around the world for 2022.

As things stand, the Qatar World Cup will be the final version of the tournament with 32 teams before expanding to 48 for the 2026 tournament in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

However, Infantino said a decision on whether that expansion will be moved forward for the next World Cup will be discussed and taken "in the next few months".

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos




Top Articles

1 Photo Lionel Messi shows off new look ahead of Girona clashbullet
2 Battle for The GOAT K.P Boateng settles the Ronaldo vs Messi debatebullet
3 Africa U-17 Nations Cup How injustice has cost the Black Starlets a...bullet
4 Rich To Rag Five African players who went broke after retirementbullet
5 Golden Clash AshGold beat Kotoko in 5-goal thrillerbullet
6 Ghanaian Players Abroad VAR denies Kwadwo Asamoah spectacular goalbullet
7 Amazing!!! Stoke City’s Berahino fathers 3 different kids in...bullet
8 AshGold seek revenge against Kotoko in Golden clashbullet
9 Football Mobile madness - Rangnick blasts Leipzig pair...bullet
10 Good In Bed!!! Stoke City striker Saido Berahino...bullet

Top Videos

1 Video Lionel Messi bags hat-trick on Champions League opening daybullet
2 Anas Aremeyaw Anas finally takes off beads on TVbullet
3 Watch Kwadwo Asamoah's wonderful assist as Inter pip Atleticobullet
4 Video Shatta Wale displays great football skills that would...bullet
5 EA Sports FIFA 19 introduces 'No-Rule Mode' for more funbullet
6 Seedorf and Kluivert unveiled as the new Cameroon coachesbullet
7 Back to the Roots Memphis Depay dancing ‘adobe’ in Cape Coastbullet
8 Video Sulley Muntari cooks for wife Menayebullet
9 Video Ronaldo’s stunner against Juventus wins UEFA Goal...bullet
10 Video Andre Ayew jams to Kwami Eugene’s hit songbullet

Football

X
Advertisement