By the 90th minute of the Scotland versus Argentina match on Thursday, the Super Falcons were on the brink of being knocked out of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on account of the VAR-awarded penalty and retake in their 1-0 loss to France.
But up stepped VAR again, and in the same sequence, VAR awarded a last-minute penalty to Argentina.
Despite the Scotland goalkeeper getting down and making a save, VAR intervened and ordered a retake.
Florencia Bonsegundo stepped up and with a kick down the middle probably saved the Falcons from an early departure from France.
The introduction of Video Assistant Referee into football is one that continues to divide the protagonists of the game at every level. But for those for whom justice and fair play is the watchword, VAR has come to ensure that winners do not win on the benefit of dodgy decisions (unknowingly by referees).
The new rule (at penalties) is that the goalkeeper must have at least one foot on the line, whatever the histrionics.
When the referee blows for the kick to be taken and the goalkeeper commits an offence after that – like the kick is missed – the law rules for it to be retaken and the goalkeeper cautioned.
We must remember that laws are made so that existence does not become chaotic.
After the painful 1-0 loss to France, Nigeria’s head coach, Thomas Dennerby almost railed against the referees and the VAR team.
“I am disappointed with the result. France is a really good team and does not need support from anybody to win games.
“I feel so sorry because the girls were fighting so well and followed the match plan but it’s getting destroyed by people. Of course, we are not happy.”
After watching the drama on Thursday, it is sure he will be happier, seeing that VAR was not concocted to rob him personally of joy.
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