For the first time in history, a penalty has been awarded through the use of VAR – or “Video Assistant Referee” – at the World Cup. Needless to say, it’s divided opinion worldwide, as well as broke the hearts of Socceroos fans.
France’s Antoine Griezmann was man adjudged to have been fouled by a desperate Aussie defender after a video review when the referee on the pitch didn’t spot the indiscretion.
France benefit from VAR
Josh Ridson made a sliding tackle that faintly clipped the back of the striker’s ankles who fell to the ground. After initially waving away Griezmann’s appeals the referee was told by the VAR officials to review the incident, which he did on a TV specially set up on the sideline for the purpose, and ultimately he overturned his decision.
Griezmann then stepped up to convert the penalty, making history in the process. It’s the first time video technology has a had a direct impact on a goal at the World Cup finals.
But was it the right call? Some remain unconvinced:
The fact opinion is divided on the Griezmann VAR penalty decision suggests that even if it probably was a penalty the decision should not have been changed.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 16, 2018
Five people in this room. No agreement on whether that is a penalty. VAR is just fussy, jobs-for-the-boys balls.#FRAAUS — Danny Baker (@prodnose) June 16, 2018
Others, however, feel that the right decision was made:
I actually agree with that call. This is what VAR is for. At first it looked like Risdon had got the ball but on closer inspection he didn’t #WorldCup
— David Munday (@DavidMunday815) June 16, 2018
Even if Risdon initially played ball against Griezmann, he then brought him down. It’s a penalty. VAR official right to tell ref to take another look. Correct decision #WorldCup #aus #fra — Martin Lipton (@MartinLipton) June 16, 2018
Australia then went on to equalize with a penalty of their own just moments later, after a clear handball from Samuel Umitti. This was a lot less controversial, and Australia were able to draw level almost instantly.
However, Paul Pogba’s deft chip late in the game saw France home to a 2-1 win.
TOP IMAGE: The World Cup VAR control room (BigSportGB/Twitter)