France to launch FIFA complaint after VAR drama
The French Football Association (FFF) are set to complain to FIFA about the circumstances which led to VAR ruling out a late equalizing goal by Antoine Griezmann during their 1-0 defeat to Tunisia on Wednesday, according to reports.
A much-changed France side were shocked by the African team in their final group game, with a single goal from Montpellier’s France-born forward Wahbi Khazri enough to separate the two sides.
Didier Deschamps’ men, though, appeared to have levelled the scores in the ninth minutes of injury time when Griezmann powered home from close range – only for VAR to rule it out after adjudging that a French player was offside in the build-up.
However, France are upset at the decision as it only came once the game had restarted – with FIFA rules saying that VAR interjections cannot happen after a match has been restarted, which is exactly what happened in the match at the Education City Stadium.
The official rules state: “If play has stopped and restarted, the referee may only undertake a 'review', and take the appropriate disciplinary sanction, for mistaken identity or for a potential sending off offence relating to violent conduct, spitting, biting or extremely offensive, insulting and/or abusive action(s).”
French football authorities announced in a subsequent statement that they intend to petition FIFA which they say was “in our opinion, wrongly disallowed.”
It seems likely that any request to amend the decision will fall on deaf ears as further rules of the game indicate that no action can be taken over a disputed VAR call.
But if FIFA did have to power to overturn the result from a France loss to a draw it would still have no outcome on the final standings in Group D, with the French still topping the group and Australia also advancing to the knockout stages as runners-up following their own 1-0 victory against Denmark on Wednesday.