Edition 1492
15 September 2018
Edition: 1492

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VAR under the spotlight following Portugal controversy

by TPN/PA, in Sport · 28-06-2018 14:39:00 · 0 Comments

The Video Assistant Referee system at the World Cup is in the spotlight once again following a controversial penalty decision in Portugal’s draw with Iran which Alan Shearer has described as “ludicrous”.

Portugal had looked set to progress to the last 16 as winners of Group B after Ricardo Quaresma’s superb first-half goal saw them leading 1-0 going into stoppage time in Saransk.
However, with time almost up, Iran were awarded a penalty after Portugal defender Cedric Soares was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area as he challenged for a cross.
The spot-kick was awarded by referee Enrique Caceres following a VAR referral and, with Karim Ansarifard successfully converting from 12 yards, Portugal were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw and second place behind group winners Spain.
Former England captain Shearer was astonished the penalty was given, saying such decisions are turning football into an “absolute farce”.
“If he thinks that’s a deliberate handball then he’s crazy,” the BBC pundit said during the post-match analysis.
“In his rule-book, every time it hits a hand it’s a penalty. It’s ridiculous. How can he do anything about that? He’s half a yard away and the defender’s eyes are closed. There’s no way
on earth that’s a deliberate handball.
“That was my fear coming into this tournament, that you’re going to get decisions like this. It turns the game into an absolute farce.”
He added: “It’s nonsense, it’s utter nonsense. He had a clear view from 12 yards away and didn’t think it was a penalty. I’m trying to keep calm without swearing. I’m getting angry here because that’s just a ludicrous decision.”
Iran’s penalty is the latest in a string of VAR rulings during the World Cup that have prompted debate and criticism of the process.

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Edition 1492
15 September 2018
Edition: 1492

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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