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‘Ridiculous decision!’ – World Cup final referee Pitana slammed following controversial VAR call



France took a 2-1 lead into half time during Sunday’s final, largely thanks to a spot-kick decision made with the help of VARReferee Nestor Pitana has been slammed for his decision to award France a first-half penalty against Croatia in Sunday’s World Cup final.

Mario Mandzukic became the first player to score an own goal in the tournament’s final, heading an Antoine Griezmann free-kick past team-mate Danijel Subasic after 18 minutes.

Ivan Perisic levelled the game 10 minutes later but was called into question for handling inside his own box before half time.

Griezmann’s corner was delivered toward Blaise Matuidi at the near post, with Perisic knocking the ball behind for what was perceived to be another corner kick.

The France team were adamant that the Croatia attacker had handled, however, protesting to the officials to review the play via VAR.

Pitana did eventually use the pitch-side screen to check the decision before awarding a France penalty.

He was widely criticised thereafter, with former players, pundits and fans claiming that he had indeed made a mistake.

See some reactions below…. 

Alan Shearer


It was all going too well! Ridiculous decision NO NO NO VAR #FRACRO #Worldcup2018Russia

4:38 PM – Jul 15, 2018

3,296 1,259 people are talking about this

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Jermaine Jenas


Poor poor poor decision ref!

4:38 PM – Jul 15, 2018

238 83 people are talking about this

Chris Sutton


That’s ridiculous….where is he supposed to put his hand???

4:36 PM – Jul 15, 2018

602 188 people are talking about this

Jamie Carragher


It’s the referee’s mistake not VAR! VAR is just a replay of an incident!! #WorldCup #FRACRO

4:46 PM – Jul 15, 2018

6,471 2,291 people are talking about this

Andy Reid


Roy keane spot on, that penalty decision shows the referee has very little understanding of how it is to play football, horrendous decision

5:02 PM – Jul 15, 2018

200 54 people are talking about this

Robbie Savage


This is downside of var , ref perfect position , gut instinct which is 93% of time right said no pen , had you not had var play on and in my opinion correct , took him an age to change his mind looked at it about 5 times , so how is that clear and obvious

5:06 PM – Jul 15, 2018

159 104 people are talking about this

Pierre van Hooijdonk


Worst scenario for FIFA, #VAR decision (wrong one) wins the World Cup for France(in this case).

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And please get rid of the word INTERPRETATION. #wrongorright

5:03 PM – Jul 15, 2018

46 22 people are talking about this

Shearer took his criticism further, telling BBC

: “There’s no way a ridiculous decision like that should affect the result in a World Cup final. It doesn’t deserve that. To boil down to a decision like that.

“Croatia have been brilliant. They haven’t given France any room whatsoever and they are losing this game from a free-kick that wasn’t a free-kick and from a penalty that was no way a penalty.

“It would be a crying shame if this game is decided by that. He’s taken so long, he’s certain that is deliberate handball, there’s no way that is deliberate handball. No way.”