World Cup final: Was Ivan Perisic handball a penalty?

Ridiculous? Or the right decision?

There was no doubt about the most controversial moment in Sunday's World Cup final.

France went 2-1 ahead against Croatia in Moscow thanks in no small part to the video assistant referee.

When a flick-on from Samuel Umtiti struck the left arm of Ivan Perisic in the Croatia area, Argentine referee Nestor Pitana did not award a penalty.

But, after consulting with the VAR, he then watched it back on a pitchside camera and changed his mind, awarding a spot-kick that Antoine Griezmann slotted home.

Was it deliberate handball? Did Perisic have time to move his hand out of the way?

France went on to win the match 4-2, winning the World Cup for the second time.

Here's how the BBC Sport pundits saw the key incident.

Former England striker Alan Shearer on BBC One: "There is no way a ridiculous decision like that should be deciding this final. It doesn't deserve it after the tournament we have had.

"Croatia have been brilliant and they are losing this game because of a free-kick that wasn't a free-kick and a penalty that wasn't a penalty.

"It will be a crying shame if this game is decided by that decision."

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand on BBC One: "You can't 100% say it's a penalty and he meant that. He's not deliberately trying to handle that ball.

"It's too close to him to react. The fact the referee took so long to make a decision, he can't be certain."

Former Germany manager Jurgen Klinsmann on BBC One: "When you are not sure, you don't give it. It was the wrong decision."

Former England midfielder Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 live: "I think it is a penalty. I would have given it. Perisic has stopped the ball going through with his hand."

France's first goal came from a controversially awarded free-kick. Replays showed Marcelo Brozovic, who was closest to Griezmann, did not touch him as the Frenchman fell.

From Griezmann's curling free-kick, Mario Mandzukic headed into his own net to give France the lead.

"It's a dive," said Shearer. "Brozovic goes in to close him down and Griezmann was expecting to be hit and he wasn't."

Ferdinand added: "Two bad decisions have turned the game on its head."

Former England player Sir Trevor Brooking, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, said: "I am so annoyed. It was never, ever a free-kick. Griezmann hardly got touched."

How VAR works

How VAR works

How fans reacted



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