Russia 2017, VAR praised at closing press conference
The FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system implemented during the competition were among the topics discussed at a press conference on the eve of the final at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Vitaly Mutko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of FIFA's Referees Committee and Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the tournament's Local Organising Committee all addressed the media and answered questions from the journalists present.
You can relive the press conference in full on video and a selection of what was said can be found below.
Vitaly Mutko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation
"We prepared very seriously for this tournament, we wanted to do everything we could to conduct it at the highest possible level and the matches were held in four state of the art stadiums in cities with great infrastructure. All the teams involved were absolutely satisfied with the tournament - we heard constant positive feedback and gratitude."
Gianni Infantino, FIFA President
"This Confederations Cup has been a great success from many points of view. We had been hearing before this tournament about a lot of 'problems' we would experience here. In fact we had some great games and a great atmosphere. We also wrote history here in Russia with VAR and from my side that has been a great success as well. If a problematic tournament looks like this one, well, I want to have many problematic tournaments going forward."
Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of FIFA's Referees Committee
"On VAR, I would like to share with you a comment I received from one of the referees here. The text he sent me said: "I'm really enjoying the matches here because I feel less pressure." This is what the referees think; they know that they can sometimes make the wrong decisions simply because they do not have the angle of vision that one of the more than 30 cameras can offer. The VAR is a very positive tool for the sport as it helps referees avoid committing mistakes. That is what has happened during this competition, and I share the view of the FIFA President: we are very happy with the results. We are aware we can improve, but it would be very surprising after so few matches if it was perfect."
Alexey Sorokin, Local Organising Committee CEO
"For Russian football, this tournament has been unprecedented in many ways. It has allowed us to watch beautiful football and dispel many concerns people may have had about large-scale events here. New standards have been set away from the stadiums too and we have been able to offer some great new services to fans: free travel inside the cities and between the cities, free wifi, special preparations for disabled fans and audio commentary for visually impaired supporters. We also had over 6000 volunteers from 78 countries in all corners of the world, and they are our pride and joy. They have done a tremendous job."