VAR gifts Argentina a soft, early penalty against Saudi Arabia

‘The consistency has been a JOKE’: Fans fume as VAR gifts Argentina a soft early penalty against Saudi Arabia… despite England not being given a spot kick for an almost IDENTICAL foul on Harry Maguire against Iran

  • Argentina were awarded an early penalty in their clash with Saudi Arabia
  • Leandro Paredes was pulled down and a spot kick was given after a VAR check 
  • The decision led to much confusion following England’s clash with Iran
  • Harry Maguire was dragged down in an almost identical incident on Monday
  • However, the referee and VAR failed to award a penalty to the Three Lions 
  • Follow Sportsmail’s live coverage from the Argentina vs Saudi Arabia game
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

VAR received further criticism at the World Cup after Argentina were awarded a penalty against Saudi Arabia in an incident that was extremely similar to the one that England were denied yesterday.

England fans fumed on Monday after Harry Maguire appeared to be dragged down by Iranian defender Roozbeh Cheshmi and bear-hugged to the ground.

However, Brazilian referee Raphael Claus didn’t intervene and, after a short VAR check, nothing was given and the officials waved play on.

Lionel Messi scored an early penalty for Argentina against Saudi Arabia from the spot

It came after Leandro Paredes (bottom left) appeared to be dragged down in the box by Mohamed Kanno

Kanno was holding Paredes and seemingly pulled the Argentinian midfielder to the floor

Paredes was left on the ground in an incident that was extremely similar to Harry Maguire in England’s game with Iran 

On Tuesday, in Argentina’s Group C clash with Saudi Arabia,  Leandro Paredes was seemingly pulled to the floor from a free-kick in almost identical fashion to the Maguire incident on Monday.

The ball was cleared but Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic was summoned over to the VAR monitor.

Following a short look at the penalty appeal, Vincic changed his decision and awarded a penalty to the Argentinians.

Lionel Messi tucked the ball home from the spot to send his side into an early lead after just 10 minutes.

Former Republic of Ireland striker Clinton Morrison was fuming at the lack of consistency of the decision after England’s shouts for a spot kick were denied yesterday.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Morrison said: ‘The consistency so far in the World Cup has been a joke.

‘The Harry Maguire one from yesterday was much worse.  I am struggling with that penalty. 

England fans were left fuming by not being awarded a penalty in their game with Iran 

Harry Maguire appeared to be dragged down to the floor by Iran defender Roozbeh Cheshmi

However, despite appearing to be bear-hugged by Cheshmi, referee Raphael Claus didn’t intervene and, after a short VAR check, nothing was given and the officials waved play on

England centre back Maguire couldn’t believe he hadn’t won an early penalty for his side

‘There is contact, but there isn’t loads of contact. It is just the consistency.’

There was further VAR controversy in the first half when both Messi and Lautaro Martinez had goals ruled out offside, with Martinez’s in particular looking extremely tight. 

Martinez then had a second goal ruled out but the Argentinian striker was clearly offside on that occasion.

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