VAR Controversy: Was The Referee Right To Award France A Penalty?

VAR Controversy: Was The Referee Right To Award France A Penalty?

With all the talk about the front three, it was the influential Paul Pogba who came to the rescue as France claimed a hard-fought 2-1 win against Australia in their World Cup opener on Saturday. Even if the ball was gone, on replay, it looked like a penalty. Moments later, the referee was given the opportunity to consult the VAR service, and chose to award a penalty.

Frenchman Antoine Greizman scored from the spot in the 58th minute after being tripped by Josh Risdon - but contact came after the Australian touched the ball first when making a sliding tackle.

The first on-field video review in World Cup history was just as controversial as you would have expected it to be.

Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak sent his French counterpart Hugo Lloris the wrong way from the spot to give Australia hope of forcing a draw at the Kazan Arena only for Pogba to grab the victor in the 81 minute. The match was decided when Paul Pogba's deflected shot bounced over the line - a goal verified by goalline technology.

Level at 1-1 with Iceland in their World Cup opener, the South American side battled hard to find a victor but couldn't do so. "If you take Zinedine Zidane out of the 1998 squad, we didn't really have the star players that we have now".

"I thought I got the first touch on the ball", the fullback said.

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The Taliban, now fighting to depose Ghani's US -backed government and reimpose sharia, declined to comment on the match. We had dignitaries from both the countries witnessing the game and many more following it across the globe.

"I didn't expect such a tough game and to play against a team so well organised", he added in the mixed zone. "Our opponents always play deep against us and we need to find a way to play better in those kind of matches".

A win against the South Americans next would allow France coach Didier Deschamps to rotate his players for the final game.

"I prefer to to talk about the game".

The team won admirers for their strong defence against the French but a second guess form a referee denied Australia a deserved draw, coach Bert van Marwijk says.

Les Bleus kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 16 before taking on Peru and Denmark in their other Group C fixtures.

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