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FIFA president Gianni Infantino calls for VAR following controversial Panama goal


Panama’s controversial equalizer against Costa Rica has drawn the attention of FIFA’s president.

Los Canaleros booked their World Cup place on Tuesday with a late Roman Torres winner against Costa Rica, but it’s an equalizing Blas Perez finish that remains a talking point across world soccer. In the second half, Panama was awarded a goal on a scramble sequence, one which appears to have never had the ball cross the line.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has stated his belief in VAR many times, and he believes Tuesday’s result was just another example of how important it is.

“When you play a World Cup qualification game and that game is decided by a major error of interpretation by the referee, which can happen because they’re human beings like everyone else, then it is time to rectify things,” Infantino said.

“When the whole world has seen it in just a few seconds and the only one who hasn’t is the referee, not because he doesn’t want to but because he’s forbidden from seeing it, and it could be corrected then I think we should move with the times and take a step forward.”

Infantino has previously expressed his desire for VAR at next summer’s World Cup, but it remains to be seen when the technology will be widely implemented across the game.

“We are prepared to put VAR into practice, but the decision hasn’t been taken yet,” he added. Every time video has been used, it has either confirmed a refereeing decision or corrected a wrong one.

“However, the objective of it is to only correct the big errors and not every single small detail in the game.”


  1. The VAR experience this year in MLS has been awful. Watching soccer games has become reminiscent of watching portions of an NFL game. Next up, commercials will start to play during the stoppages.

    Soccer is life. Win some, lose some, occasionally in unfair fashions. However, the US not making the WC was completely fair. WE shouldn’t have been relying on VAR to send us through when if we would’ve taken care of business

  2. There was no goal and yet Panama is going while the USA isnt and everybody knows it’s a mistake. I dont give a damn about VAR at this point… I think FIFA should fix this unfair result. Total rip off

  3. seems to me he could just…you know…reverse the decision. it’d be the right call even if the USMNT does not deserve it. we’d probably lose to the Aussies anyway. but we’re talking about an obvious non-goal. when the rest of the world is more upset about it then the US, that says something.

  4. So FIFA does not really support their Fair Play stance? So why promote it. I heard on the Panamanian news that Fifa could still come in and make them replay the game as Fifa did in the African cup with some referee decisions on the field. Simple fact is that US did finish. SAD days for 4 years to come

  5. We are talking $100s of Millions lost for the US due to this goal being allowed.We can talk about our play and how we don’t deserve it but a goal like this shouldn’t happen at this level.

  6. Saw goal-line technology used in European Qualifiers (specifically Wagner’s goal vs. Azerbaijan)…crazy that it wasn’t a thing across all confederations qualifiers. FIFA for ya…

  7. I have been thinking for quite a while now that there need to be more refs on the pitch. I believe the sidelines need two assistants on either side, so the field would be broken into quarters instead of half, plus endline refs, Soccer needs to be more like football, with a full crew able and aware of all that is going on. Between missed calls, poor red cards, and off the ball shenanigans, there is way too much for just the four on the pitch right now. VAR is also needed, but more eyes will help just as much.

    • Nobody is talking about reversing that goal, the final result, or the fact that Panama is moving on, so you can calm down. He’s talking about future games in CONCACAF.

      Imagine games where our guys aren’t getting punched in the gut away from the ball, where Besler isn’t getting a red card just for standing 2 feet away from an opponent. Yeah our team sucked during this WCQ, but VAR would radically change how our players are treated across the region. And that’s a net plus


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