Twitter reacts to controversial handball earning Iran a draw
VAR took center stage Monday at the World Cup, as it awarded Iran a controversial late penalty against Portugal.
Iran were awarded a penalty after video review in stoppage time of their crucial Group B match, but there were many who believed that the decision was unjust.
— Basementpundit (@basementpundit) June 25, 2018
#WorldCupRussia2018 Iran played gallantly in 2nd half but Penalty to Iran in dying moments seemed wrong. Handball wasn’t “deliberate” at all. Surprised at the ruling. Although had no affect on Portugal moving to last 16.
— K. C. Singh (@ambkcsingh) June 25, 2018
We live in a VAR world where Kane doesn’t get a penalty for being assaulted against Tunisia. Yet Iran get a penalty for the most ridiculous ‘handball’ ever against Portugal. I think I preferred it when referees just got it wrong. At least I knew who to direct my anger to then!
— Jamie Fletcher (@FletchRadio) June 25, 2018
Worse decision in the world cup so far. Penalty given to Iran for handball. Never handball. Rudiculous decision
— Peter Moore (@PeterMooreSport) June 25, 2018
Was generally a fan of VAR this World Cup until the Iran penalty tonight, it’s unrealistic to say that’s a handball. Clearly not a deliberate attempt to play the ball
— Peter Richards (@peterich97) June 25, 2018
Iran get a ludicrous VAR penalty as Spain get given a VAR goal. Mad.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 25, 2018
Never a penalty for Iran v Portugal – making a mockery of the game and its now a laughing stock – I was all for VAR – but instances like this make me wonder
— Tom Ross (@thegoalzone) June 25, 2018
This was bound to be controversial. VAR is still new, and everyone is figuring out how to use it, which can lead to issues — issues that had already been put on display earlier in the game. The other issue is that the handball rule is often so vague and open to interpretation that anything can be gleaned from it. Was it deliberate? No. But if you wanted to, could you argue that the defender’s arm was in an unnatural position? You could. That’s what makes it so difficult.
For Iran, the decision made no difference — thanks to a late VAR-reviewed goal in the Spain-Morocco game, they were still eliminated from the World Cup. The decision could have major ramifications for Portugal, however. A draw meant that they finished second in the group, whereas they’d have won it had they hung on to the victory over Iran. That means they’ll be facing Uruguay in the round of 16 instead of a significantly weaker opponent in Russia.