VAR: Sepp Blatter says use at World Cup 2018 would be ‘not very clever’

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    How does VAR work?

    Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter says the use of the video assistant referee (VAR) system at this summer’s World Cup is “not very clever”.

    Blatter’s permanent successor, Gianni Infantino, confirmed in March that world football’s governing body had approved the use of VAR in Russia.

    However, Blatter says fans “don’t feel comfortable” with the system.

    “For a purist in football, as I am, I think it is an innovation which is going too fast,” said the 82-year-old.

    “Most of the referees have never worked this system. To go to the World Cup and introduce this system in the World Cup, I think it is not very clever.

    “I don’t feel comfortable, definitely not, and spectators don’t feel comfortable.”

    Blatter’s 17-year spell in charge at Fifa ended amid a corruption scandal in 2015.

    Fifa subsequently banned Blatter from the sport for eight years, a term later reduced to six years after appeal.

    The Swiss also expressed concerns over the new 48-team format to be used at the 2026 World Cup, when the tournament will be increased from 32 countries.

    The teams will be divided into 16 groups of three in the first round, with the top two qualifying for the round of 32. One team in each group will not play on a given matchday.

    “We will see what will happen with 48 teams but one thing cannot be done, to play in groups of three, because we had this problem in 1982 in Spain,” added Blatter. “In groups of three, there is always one spectator.”

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