Why Lionel Messi Shouldn’t Have Been Given a VAR Penalty


We’re analyzing every VAR decision made in all 64 games Feather 2022 world cup, Argentina‘s Lionel Messi he was awarded a penalty after being fouled by poland goalkeeper wojciech szczesny,

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

– Full review of World Cup VAR: analyzed every decision

VAR reversed: penalty for foul by Szczesny on Messi

What happened: Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczecny claimed a cross in the 36th minute. Lionel Messi first rose over his head for the ball, with Szczecny clashing his arm with the Argentina striker. VAR, Paulus van Boekel of the Netherlands, recommends a penalty review.

VAR Decision: Penalty, Messi’s effort saved by Szczecin.

VAR Review: Another notable VAR decision, and not exactly the kind of incident the system was brought up for – it didn’t require VAR intervention.

Granted, Szczęsny’s glove made contact with Messi’s face, but the striker was not prevented from playing the ball and any contact was minimal. A very experienced official is in charge of this game, Dutch referee Danny Makeli, and it would have been refreshing if he had rejected the VAR review on the monitors.

We regularly see attacking players, after being tackled by an opponent, with far stronger challenges than they would have played the ball all the time, and they are rarely penalised. There’s a separate discussion about how defensive players get away with it so often, but that’s a completely irrelevant phenomenon.

If the referee had awarded it as a penalty during the game, it would probably be a different matter, but even then many would feel it was soft enough that VAR would have grounds to overturn it.

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