New Zealand referee at centre of controversial decision to disallow French ‘goal’

posted in: News, Referees

New Zealand referee Matt Conger was at the centre of a controversial VAR decision that has denied world champions France a late draw in their FIFA World Cup match against Tunisia.

Palmerston North-based Conger called for a VAR review on the pitchside monitor when France appeared to score in the 8th minute of stoppage time with Tunisia leading 1-0 in the final game in Group D.

After the VAR review, Conger ruled that substitute Antonie Greizmann’s effort would be disallowed.

ESPN’s analysis says it was “an exceptionally harsh VAR decision”.

Conger checked the goal for offside after Greizmann appeared to be offside, though he had received the ball off the head of defender Montassar Talbi.

ESPN said the two VAR officials, Abdullah Al Marri and Taleb Al Marri, from Qatar, would have ruled Talbi was not in control of the header and his contact with the ball was not a “deliberate play”.

The ‘goal’ and decision

Main photo: Matt Conger … first appearance at the tournament. Photo Mike Hewitt – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images.

Despite winning the game, Tunisia still head home after finishing third in the group, while France remained top of the pool.

Australia also go through to the round of 16 after their 1-0 win against Denmark.

The game provided OFC officials with their first appearance at this World Cup.

Assistant referees for the game were New Zealand’s Mark Rule and Tonga’s Tevita Makasini.

Referee Matthew Conger (centre) warms up with assistants Tevita Makasini and Mark Rule (left).  Photo: Mike Hewitt – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images.


Games played on Thursday December 1, 2022

Group D

Tunisia 1 (Khazri 58′)
France 0

Australia 1 (Leckie 60′)
Denmark 0

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