Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

France awarded controversial penalty after first VAR review in World Cup history

France awarded controversial penalty after first VAR review in World Cup history

The referee did not give award a penalty to Griezmann who was adjudged to have gone down too easily but the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) saw play halted for a replay of the incident. That's when Cunha blew his whistle and indicated the play was under review.

"I thought it was a penalty", Griezmann told reporters at Kazan Arena.

Risdon had appeared to get away with his tackle on the marauding striker, but after a consultation with VAR the referee spotted an illegal clip on the Atletico striker's heel and awarded a spot-kick. Let's say from 10 people, seven say penalty and three say no penalty.

Griezmann was voted man of the match, but said he felt teammates N'Golo Kante or Lucas Hernandez should have got the prize instead.

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"It was important to start with a win but we know there are a lot of things to improve, we struggled to find each other during the game".

MF N'Golo Kante, 5 - In hindsight, his qualities were not vital against a physical Australian side and France's midfield needed more drive.

Antoine Griezmann scored from the penalty spot to put France one up, and speaking to the media after the match, van Marwijk couldn't hide his disappointment of Cunha's handling of the game.

"It was laborious and we didn't do well", he said in the mixed zone.

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Infantino said VAR had been shown to reduce the number of refereeing mistakes in matches where it has been used and would help football become "a fairer and more transparent sport".

"But I am not anxious". I still remember my first time four years ago. We must do better than that.

Deschamps, a World Cup victor with France in 1998, will be thanking his lucky stars after a performance which will give him more questions than answers about his ambitious side - the second-youngest in the tournament after Nigeria.

Australia weathered that early storm, though, and came agonisingly close to taking the lead after 17 minutes.

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"I'm looking for a better explanation of it I guess now but I don't want to take anything away from the game and the attractive game that it is and what we've done today".

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