World Cup history was made during Saturday's Group C opener when VAR was used to award a French penalty, but Australian coach Bert van Marwijk certainly wasn’t happy with the development.
Socceroos coach van Marwijk criticized Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha following the first meaningful use of Video Assisted Refereeing (VAR) at the World Cup in Russia.
Antoine Griezmann scored from the penalty spot to put France one up, and speaking to the media after the match, van Marwijk couldn’t hide his disappointment of Cunha’s handling of the game.
“I hoped that maybe one time there would be a very honest referee, and in that moment, that he wouldn’t go to the video screen,” said van Marwijk, who coached the Netherlands to the World Cup Final in 2010, AFP reported.
“I saw him standing there. The body language was that he didn’t know, from my position.
“And then you have to take a decision – France or Australia. I got a lot of reactions, let’s say that out of 10 people seven said it was a penalty and three said no penalty. So I don’t know. I have to see it.”
He added that he believes the referee’s decision to consult VAR could have been influenced by the raucous French support in the crowd.
“It’s very difficult to decide when you have 50,000 people on his back, he must decide. He was standing very close to the moment of the penalty, and he said directly, ‘Go [play] on.’
“He’s also a human being, and everyone makes mistakes.”