Dermot Gallagher: France penalty decision against Croatia wrong

Referee Nestor Pitana

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher says the decision to give France a penalty against Croatia in Sunday’s World Cup final in Moscow was “100 per cent” wrong.

Croatia’s Ivan Perisic, whose visibility was blocked by Blaise Matuidi, was penalised in the 38th minute after Antoine Griezmann’s delivery from a corner struck his arm, which was by his side.

Referee Nestor Pitana did not initially give the penalty, but was asked by the video assistant referees to review the decision and, after minutes of deliberation, opted to award the spot-kick.

“100 per cent not a penalty. He’s far, far too close to the ball as it comes over the forward’s head,” Gallagher told Sky Sports.

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“It just strikes him – he doesn’t move his hand to the ball, he’s got no intention of handling the ball.

“The law says it has to be deliberate. His arms aren’t in an unorthodox position – it just doesn’t tick any boxes.”

Griezmann converted the penalty to make it 2-1 to France, who ended the game as victors with additional goals from Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba.

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