World Cup Group B came to a dramatic close on Monday evening as Spain and Portugal qualified for the last-16 at the expense of brave Iran.
The matches though were laced with controversy, much of it caused by VAR decisions, or the lack of them, as Portugal were denied top spot thanks to calls made using the video assistant referee.
First, Spain were rightly awarded a last-minute equaliser against Morocco upon review before Iran scored a dubious injury-time penalty to deny Portugal top spot.
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 25, 2018
The goals mean that Portugal now face a much harder task in the last-16 where they play Uruguay, while Spain will meet hosts Russia.
Add to that Ronaldo’s VAR penalty (he missed) and a two-footed tackle by Gerard Pique that went unpunished and it was a pretty controversial evening.
It was all too much for many fans.
Pique escapes a clear red card offence.
Portugal conceed an extremely dubious penalty.
VAR has singlehandedly put Spain through to the quarterfinals.
What an absolute disgrace of an evening for world football. Embarrassing. #WorldCup #IRNPOR #SPAMOR #VAR
— Kallum Astle (@KallumAstle) June 25, 2018
Iran get a ludicrous VAR penalty as Spain get given a VAR goal. Mad.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 25, 2018
This VAR is partial to African countries…
No card for this…
And the VAR gives Spain a goal after the Linesman calls for offside…
— Ovundah Nyeche (@Ovdiasis) June 25, 2018
Is VAR not looking at that Pique challenge? Red card, surely?
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) June 25, 2018
Ok, bad use of VAR there on Ronaldo… that’s a Red card. Star power wins again #POR
— Stu Holden (@stuholden) June 25, 2018
That’s enough. VAR is an overrated mess. That’s a red all day long for Ronaldo.
— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) June 25, 2018
Anyone other than Ronaldo would’ve walked for violent conduct but FIFA’s VAR turns a blind eye.
— Jim Beglin (@jimbeglin) June 25, 2018
— Stephen Warnock (@StephenWarnock3) June 25, 2018
Watford and Morocco’s Nordon Amrabat then summed up what many people are probably thinking about VAR.
Nordin Amrabat lets the world know what he thinks of VAR… pic.twitter.com/0ZhQHk6Av4
— Myron Naicker (@myronnaicker) June 25, 2018
In the midst of all the opinions, however, there were some wise words for us all.
As a human construct it’s imbued with human frailty and subject to our limitations, so how could it ever really move us forward?
— Harley Freemantle (@freemantle_) June 25, 2018
Ronaldo incident shows VAR doesn’t eliminate disagreements and debates and it never will. It just gives a ref a chance to have another look. We can’t expect unanimous agreement .
— Simon Evans (@sgevans) June 25, 2018
What’s your opinion on VAR?