World Cup 2018: Australia manager left fuming with referee's 'mistake' in historic VAR ruling

History was made in Kazan when VAR was consulted after Antoine Griezmann was adjudged to have been caught by Josh Risdon’s outstretched leg 

Jack Watson
Saturday 16 June 2018 16:51
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World Cup Opening Ceremony

Australia manager Bert van Marwijk says the referee made a mistake when VAR awarded France a penalty during their 2-1 victory over the Socceroos, and has called for more honest from the officials.

History was made in Kazan when VAR was consulted after Antoine Griezmann appeared to be caught by Josh Risdon’s outstretched leg as he entered the penalty area. Play continued but the Uruguayan referee, Andres Cunha, stopped the game to consult the screen on the side of the pitch and award a penalty, which Griezmann converted.

“He’s a human being and everybody makes mistakes,” said Van Marwijk, who has been outspoken against the use of video assistant referees.

Mile Jedinak drew the scores level from the spot after Australia were awarded a straightforward penalty when Samuel Umtiti blocked a cross with his arm, then Paul Pogba’s 80th minute deflected shot found the back of the net, but the first penalty awarded using of VAR in a World Cup had Van Marwijk ruing his side’s misfortune as he questioned the referee’s honesty.

“I hoped that maybe one time there will be a referee (who is) very honest. When you are in that moment, on your own go to that video screen, I saw him standing there.

“They body language was that he didn’t know, from my position. And then you have to take a decision. France or Australia?

“It’s very difficult but when it’s also difficult to decide, when a referee, for 50,000 people on his back, must decide when he is doubting.”

Greiezmann, who announced he was committing his future to Atletico Madrid just two days before Les Bleus’ first game, was on the favourable side of the VAR decision and says the new technology is a good thing for the World Cup.

Referee Andres Cunha gave the first ever VAR awarded penalty 

“I think it’s a penalty because he trips my left foot and then when I get up, I feel some pain, there was no diving,” said the French goal scorer.

“It’s good that there is VAR in this situation.”

Like his star forward, France manager Didier Deschamps was quick to jump to the defence of VAR. “I’m not going to complain about VAR today because it was in our favour, obviously, but the referee didn’t see that there had been a foul and he was able to correct this so he was able to correct this mistake.

“Maybe it’s not clear… the VAR can interpret goals, the referee makes the final decision, it’s really up to him,” added the former France captain.

“When we ran (the technology) in closed session, we saw that it was not in our favour. It can be useful in some situations.”

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