Why VAR disallowed Griezmann’s goal for France for offside

We’re analyzing every VAR decision made in all 64 matches at the 2022 World Cup. Antoine Griezmann was controversially disallowed for a goal in the France v Tunisia match, and here’s why.

After each game, we take a look at key incidents to review and explain the process in terms of both the VAR protocol and the Laws of the Game.

– The complete VAR World Cup review: Every decision analysed

VAR reversal: Griezmann’s goal disallowed for offside

What happened: Antoine Griezmann thought he had scored a dramatic equalizer for France in the 98th minute but there was a VAR review for offside.

VAR decision: The goal was disallowed.

VAR review: This is at the heart of the offside law, and the definition of a “deliberate play” to restore a phase.

When Aurelien Tchouameni played the ball into the area, Griezmann was stopped in an offside position. However, the France striker made no attempt to play the ball or challenge an opponent.

Defender Montassar Talbi tried to head the ball but it didn’t get very far and it fell to Griezmann, who scored.

If the officials believed that Talbi had made a “deliberate play”, the phase is reset, Griezmann is out and the goal counts.

If the officials believe that Talbi did not make a “deliberate play”, the phase is not reset, Griezmann is offside from Tchouameni’s pass and the goal is disallowed.

Essentially, a “purposeful play” is about the defender being in control of his actions. It is not simply about a player trying to hit or head a ball. If the defender has to reach out to play the ball and can have no real influence on where it goes, it is not considered an “intentional play”.

This is an extremely subjective area of ​​offside law, so referee Matthew Conger of New Zealand had to go to the pitch monitor to make the decision.

VAR Abdullah al-Marri — who was also on duty for Portugal’s controversial handball penalty against Uruguay on Monday — and his Qatari offside VAR colleague Taleb al-Marri will have advised that Talbi was not in control of the header and was lying down, so it could not be “deliberate play”.

This decision will be equally controversial because the intricacies of “deliberate play” are not widely known or understood.

Whether you think this is a correct decision will ultimately depend on what you think should constitute “deliberate play”. But it’s fair to say that most people will think this is an extremely harsh VAR decision.


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