The handball by Ivan Perisic, was definitely the most controversial penalty and goal of the night. Since the introduction of VAR, referees have been able to get a second look at game-changing chances, including penalties. But does this mean that VAR will put an end to controversial decisions?
The use of VAR definitely doesn’t put an end to controversial and incorrect decisions (as we have seen in the World Cup final).
In yesterday’s final between France and Croatia, France and Croatia were draw at 1-1 until around the 40th minute. Although, when the ball was flicked in by Samuel Umtiti, it struck Ivan Perisic’s left arm before he cleared it out for a corner. Argentine referee of the night, Nestor Pitana did not point to the penalty spot. But he did signal for VAR intervention after every Frenchman on the pitch protested this decision.
After consulting with VAR, Pitana pointed to the spot and granted France a penalty, that if scored will put them on top of their fellow World Cup finalists.
Pundits on networks such as BBC One were shocked, with former England striker Alan Shearer even going as far as saying,
“There is no way a ridiculous decision like that should be deciding this final. It doesn’t deserve it after the tournament we have had.
“Croatia have been brilliant and they are losing this game because of a free-kick that wasn’t a free-kick and a penalty that wasn’t a penalty.
“It will be a crying shame if this game is decided by that decision.”
The issue was not whether or not it made contact with Perisic’s arm, as it definitely did. Although was it intentional? VAR, when watched in slow motion, can definitely make it look as if it was intentional when it was slowed down to be watched frame by frame.
This puts many question marks between the validity of using VAR. Apart from completely stopping the pace of the game for a few minutes, it hasn’t proved too useful this World Cup, with many debatable decisions taking place.
Do you think there is a place for VAR in football? Tell us what you think in the comments below.