FIFA has rejected France’s protest against the VAR decision to disallow Antoine Griezmann’s injury-time goal in their 1-0 defeat to Tunisia.
Griezmann thought he had scored a dramatic equalizer in the 98th minute of the final group game, but following a VAR review the goal was controversially ruled out for offside even though defender Montassar Talbi headed the ball before he fell to the France striker.
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But the France complaint wasn’t about the offside decision itself, but about a failure of VAR protocol which meant it wasn’t a valid review as referee Matthew Conger had already restarted play with the kick-off.
Conger gave one short whistle for the kick-off, followed instantly — but with a definite gap — by the full-time whistle. If the referee had blown for full-time after the goal, the review was possible. But the kick-off invalidates the review because a decision cannot be changed once play has restarted.
France were infuriated, and had asked for the goal to be awarded and the result changed to a 1-1 draw on principle, because the change of result would have made no difference to final group positions of either team.
« We are writing a complaint after Antoine Griezmann’s goal was, in our opinion, wrongly disallowed, » the FFF said in a statement last Wednesday. « This complaint has to be filed within 24 hours after the final whistle. »
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It has taken FIFA’s disciplinary committee five days to issue a response, with a short statement dismissing the appeal.
It read: « The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has dismissed the protest submitted by the French Football Association in relation to the Tunisia v. France FIFA World Cup match played on Nov. 30. »
No further information was offered.
However, VAR Protocol, contained within the Laws of the Game, specifically states that a result should stand if there has been such a VAR error. It reads: « In principle, a match is not invalidated because of … review(s) of a non-reviewable situation/decision. »